Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya Fever

How is the disease transmitted?
The disease is transmitted from one person to another due to bite of an infected mosquito.

What are the symptoms of Chikungunya fever?
The symptoms begin 3 to 7 days after bite of the infected mosquito (incubation period).
The common symptoms include fever and joint pains. The joint pains can be very severe in some patients. Other symptoms include rash, muscle pains, joint swelling, head ache, vomiting and conjunctivitis. Rarely the disease may involve the eyes, nervous system, heart, liver, kidneys and the skin. Some patients can have low levels of platelets and white cell counts in the blood.

How is the disease diagnosed?
The symptoms can be very similar to Dengue and other viral infections. It can be diagnosed based on the symptoms and confirmed with the help of appropriate blood tests.

How is it treated?
There is no definite medical treatment for the condition.
Treatment is mainly supportive and includes plenty of fluids and bed rest.
Medicines like paracetamol can be given to relieve fever and pain.

What is the outcome of the disease?
In most of the cases, patients recover without any complications. Many people recover within a week but the joint pain can remain for months.
The disease can be fatal in very young infants, older people and people with underlying chronic medical conditions.
However, a person once infected is likely to be immune from future infections.

How can it be prevented?
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent the disease.
Anti mosquito measures can prevent the spread of disease in the community.
Preventing moquito bites in the first week of illness prevents spread to other family members.