Chikungunya: Dos and Don’ts
Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. The Chikungunya virus is present in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean Islands. A serious case of this disease has now been found in Bangladesh, but most people in our country aren’t familiar with this viral disease yet. The symptoms of this disease are similar to Zika and Dengue, and so the disease can be misdiagnosed. Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the virus can cause severe complications, mostly in older adults.
Chikungunya causes severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs and high fever and takes a long time to recover. Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Joint swelling
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
- Rashes (about 50% of affected people suffer from this)
The symptoms usually start showing 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
This disease can be diagnosed by observing its signs and symptoms and can be confirmed with the help of a blood test.
There is no specific treatment for this disease. But the good news is that most people start feeling better after 7 to 10 days. However, the joint pain may remain for a longer period of time.
The Dos and Don’ts
Since there are no specific treatments for this disease, some dos and don’ts need to be followed in order to stay safe.
- Take a blood test. This step is required for the diagnosis of this disease.
- Consult a physician. If you are taking any medicine for another medical condition, stop taking it immediately and talk to your physician about it.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration.
- Take paracetamol to reduce pain and fever.
- Do not take aspirin or any other drug to reduce the pain or fever. Taking these medicines will only increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, thrombocytopenia, and gastritis.
- Avoid new mosquito bites. It will help prevent the virus from spreading.
Ishrat Jahan Kashfia
Bangladesh University of Professionals