All You Need To Know About Chikungunya!

Sakhi Bhotika
August 23, 2016
Views : 2507
All You Need To Know About Chikungunya!

Well, there is a reason why during the current few months, we see a lot of mosquito repellent and mosquito killer cards and coils being advertised everywhere. Dengue is not the only reason. A disease known as chikungunya is quite common in India during this phase, a little less than dengue; but still a very common disease. Both the diseases are caused by the Aedes mosquito, but the virus infected by it is different for both the diseases. Both dengue and chikungunya are very similar to each other and at times it becomes a little bit difficult to differentiate whether the patient is suffering from dengue or chikungunya during the initial stage. Chikungunya was earlier known as dengue itself but gradually discovered to be a separate disease; common in the Asian and African countries. Just like dengue, chikungunya is a disease with no definite cure, but is self-limiting and gets eradicated from the patient's body after some time. Unlike dengue, this disease is non-fatal and not life threatening.

Symptoms Of Chikungunya

One must look out for the signs and symptoms of catching this disease; fatal or not, any sort of uneasiness in the body should not be taken lightly, after all, one lifetime is what we all have. Coming back to the symptoms of chikungunya; symptoms are more or less similar to dengue. Dengue is marked by the rise in temperature and body aches; chikungunya patients suffer the same. The patient's temperature might go up to an all-time high of 104F which might last for about 7-10 days. The body pain and aches in the case of chikungunya are more intense and painful as compared to dengue, and at times the patient might suffer from the joint pain for years. Chikungunya virus affects the joints and the pain is so intense, that it becomes very difficult for the patient to even move that joint. Headaches and muscle pain is also very common, more focus should put on rashes and irritation in the eyes of the patient. Though the symptoms are not life threatening, it may be very severe for old people and newborns as their immune system is not very strong. The irritation in eyes might increase making the patient unable to look at any source of light. A person might even lose his sense of taste for a while, as the chikungunya virus tends to sensitise to desensitise the tissues and taste buds of the tongue. The patient may also feel uneasy, and feel constipated. Headaches and sore throats are also some of the symptoms to look out for. So to sum it up, watch out for high fever and unbearable body joint pains and redness in the eye as the symptoms of chikungunya.

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis of chikungunya

The major symptoms of chikungunya are prominent after at least 7 days, as the incubation period for chikungunya is long; symptoms won't show up before this duration. Just like dengue, chikungunya can only be diagnosed through blood tests. Once you feel that the patient is suffering unbearable body pains or arthritis, do not hesitate ay longer to consider medical help.

TREATMENT

No specific treatment for diseases like chikungunya and dengue has been found yet. Hence, treatment lies in keeping the patient as comfortable as possible. Since there aren't any vaccines or medicines available for these mosquito-borne diseases, the remedy lies at home or with the doctors. Complete bed rest and intake of a lot of fluids is considered to be the best when it comes to treating chikungunya. You must make sure that the patient is protected from further mosquito bites as it may aggravate their situation, which is something we obviously do not want. You can a lot of options like lighting aroma candles in your house, keeping the windows and doors shut, covering the patient's bed with a mosquito net etc. As mentioned above, symptoms of chikungunya is prominent generally after 4-5 days, so close administration is very important. Intake of fluids is a must to avoid dehydration. Medicines like aspirin should be avoided as it increases chances of haemorrhage. Consult a doctor before taking any medicines, especially if the patient is already taking medicines for some other medical condition.

HOME REMEDIES FOR CHIKUNGUNYA

Being similar to the fatal disease dengue, chikungunya also comes with a lot of home remedies that will ease the pain and suffering of the patient. Read on for easy remedies to help out your closed ones who are suffering from this mosquito-borne disease.

Massage

Massage

Massaging the joint areas is the best way to get relief from the intense pains caused during chikungunya. You can use any oil to massage the painful areas, but the relief would be higher if castor oil is used for massaging. Frequent massages would give the patient relief and make him/her feel comfortable.

Exercise

Though it's going to be very difficult for the patient to even move during the chikungunya phase, but light movements and exercises are necessary. Light stretching and exercises would help in avoiding stiff muscles and would relieve the pain.

Turmeric

You must have seen the elders in your family drink turmeric milk or rather haldi wala doodh when their body aches; so why not continue the legacy of this ancient remedy! The inclusion of turmeric in the regular diet helps in alleviating the effects of chikungunya on the body. The antioxidants work like a miracle in relieving the body pains.

Ginger

Ginger is another every day used ingredient in the Indian households. Ginger helps a lot in relieving the body pains and joint pains. Make sure you include lots of ginger in the patient's diet.

Garlic

Garlic is one ingredient that gives the yummy flavours to all our food items; not only that, it helps in relieving the body pains as well. Just grate some garlic and mix it with oil; apply the paste on the affected area and relax.

Sweets

Well, if you ask me, this is the most interesting remedy! Eat home-made sweets, pick your favourite and indulge yourself in this remedy! The glucose helps in boosting up the energy levels and can even help the patient recover from chikungunya is 4-5 days!

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits for diagnosis of chikungunya

Intake of fruits like orange, lemon and other sources of Vitamin C are a must during the chikungunya. The antioxidants in these fruits help in repairing the damaged cells and also improve the immunity, so the more citrus, the better. Eat the fruits, or drink the juices, whichever suits you!

Carrots

Eating raw carrots individually or in a salad is a great way to relieve the body pains. The nutrients present in carrots helps in faster recovery and a stronger immune system.

Apples

I am sure all of us have grown up listening to the quote "An apple a day, keeps a doctor away". Apples contain a lot of nutrients and minerals beneficial for the body which somewhat makes the quote true! Apples help in increasing the levels of red blood cells in our body, which automatically improves the immune system. Eat it raw or drink the juice, your take; but make sure you consume this red fruit!

Coconut water

I personally love coconut water and drink it frequently during the summer season; nothing quenches my thirst like coconut water does! Coconut water helps in detoxifying the body and also minimises the pain caused during chikungunya. If not carrot juice, then try out coconut juice for sure!

Epsom Salt

Commonly known as sendha namak, taking Epsom salt bath relives body pain. Add some neem leaves and Epsom salt in your bath and feel relieved.

Tulsi

Tulsi for diagnosis of chikungunya

Tulsi leaves are a great source of minerals beneficial for our body. Drinking tulsi tea will not only help in improving the immune system but will also reduce the chances of getting bitten by a mosquito. You can also add black pepper in the tulsi tea.

Since both dengue and chikungunya are similar to each other, the home remedies are also same for both. You can check our article on dengue for more options for speedy recovery from chikungunya.

Do not try out these remedies without consulting a doctor, as some of the above remedies can be harmful to pregnant women, diabetic patients and those who have allergies. It is very important to consult a doctor first about the health history of the patient before trying out these remedies.

Prevent chikungunya by following these 10 easy steps!

Chikungunya is one of the most common diseases that people suffer from in our country and hence it is our responsibility to take preventive measures so that the virus is not spread. Read on for some easy tips that you should follow to avoid the spreading of the virus.

  • Make sure you cover all empty container like objects during this seasons. For example, turn over all the buckets and pails lying around on your balcony to avoid water accumulation.
  • Cover/ empty your air coolers for these are one of the most common places for the mosquitoes to breed in.
  • Secure your house from all the holes or cuts in windows and doors. Mosquitoes might find a way in through these holes
  • Always wear full clothes inside and outside the house, especially during the day time.
  • Make sure you apply mosquito repellent creams every day. You can also put mosquito patches on yourself and on your children.
  • Always keep your windows and doors shut to avoid letting the mosquitoes in. Do not forget to use mosquito nets over your infant's cot as they can be easily affected by the virus. Use mosquito traps as well.
  • Burn aromatic candles like lavender; mosquitoes hate it. Also, burn a little camphor and close the room for about 20 minutes; say hello to mosquito free room!
  • For those travelling to tropical areas, the above-mentioned points should be strictly followed. Try staying in a hotel with air conditioners and ensure that the window screens are secure.
  • Unclog the clogged drains, for it can be a soft target for the mosquitoes to breed in.
  • Be alert and inform your neighbours if you find any unattended open containers.

Confused between Dengue and Chikungunya?

I have mentioned a number of times in this article that dengue and chikungunya are similar to each other. I'm sure you must be wondering how both the diseases are similar as one is fatal while the other is not! Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the same breed of mosquitoes, but the virus is different; most of the symptoms are similar, but there are some differences that you can watch out for.

The major difference both the diseases is that dengue leads to loss of platelet counts, while chikungunya does not lead to any loss of the platelet counts. Another difference is that the symptoms of dengue are visible within 3-4 days after being infected, while the symptoms of chikungunya are obvious only after a week. Dengue also comes with the risk of internal and external bleeding, while chikungunya does exhibit any of it. The body pains in chikungunya are more painful as compared to that in dengue. While the body pain in dengue diminishes gradually, the joint pains or arthritis pains in chikungunya can go on for months or years.

Doctor's Recommendations

doctor's recommendations diagnosis of chikungunya

Dr Mohit, specialising in homoeopathy suggests some very effective medicines to bring down the body temperature and reducing the body pains caused by the chikungunya virus. A combination of three medicines; Tinospora Cordifolia (Q), Carica Papaya (Q), Azadirachta Indica (Q); contains extracts of Giloy, papaya and neem respectively, turns out to be a very effective way to prevent fever. Dr Mohit prescribes mixing 15 drops of each medicine in a little bit of water, to be taken once a day. You can also add 15 drops of Echinacea (Q) with the above-mentioned medicines for an added benefit. This medicine helps in improving immunity against infections and fever.

China (20/300) is very effective in recurrent and low-grade fevers. It helps in coping up the dullness and weakness caused due to the disease, also helpful in relieving the post fever weakness.

Arsenic Album (30/200) is useful for patients who are very irritable and get restless. This medicine can be used for curing mild to high fever.

Sakhi Bhotika

Sakhi Bhotika

Hi, I'm Sakhi, and I love to meet new people and learn new things from them. I strongly feel that make-up can make you look pretty on the outside, but eating healthy keeps you pretty on the inside!

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