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Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a mosquito borne viral disease. This infection is characterized by sudden onset of high fever and severe joint pain. In India, the number of Chikungunya cases reported in 2006 where nearly, 1.25 million cases. The virus may be transmitted through mosquito bite, via maternal-fetal transmission or through organ transplantation.

Signs and symptoms

Usually, the symptoms appear between 3 – 7 days after being bitten by the carrier mosquito. The following are the signs and symptoms associated with Chikungunya:

  1. Fever, nausea and fatigue: Abrupt onset of severe fever can be noticed, which can be as high as 104 0
  2. Joint pain: You may have severe pain in the joints accompanied with
  3. Headache: You may experience a frequent or severe headache for many days.
  4. Rash: Skin rashes may appear all over the entire body.
  5. Eye problems: Chikungunya infection can cause conjunctivitis.

 Diagnosis of chikungunya

The symptoms of dengue, Zika or chikungunya infection are similar. If your doctor suspects chikungunya infection, he would recommend you the following tests:

Serological test

A sample of your blood is collected and is tested for the presence of anti – Chikungunya antibodies. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) test is done to determine the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies. Check the following table and find out what the values mean.

Chikungunya antibodies (IgG and IgM)

Component Reference range Interpretation
Chikungunya IgG antibody 0.79 or less No significant levels of Chikungunya IgG antibody detected.
0.80 – 1.09 *Possible presence of Chikungunya IgG antibody. Repeat testing within 10 – 14 days required.
1.10 or greater Definite indication for presence of chikungunya IgG antibody; suggests past or current infection.
Chikungunya IgM antibody 0.79 or less No significant levels of Chikungunya IgM antibody
0.80 – 1.09 * Possible presence of Chikungunya IgM antibody. Repeat testing within 10 – 14 days required
1.10 or greater Definite indication for presence of chikungunya IgM antibody; suggests past or current infection.

 

Antiviral test: RT – PCR (Reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction)

This test is useful to detect the presence of the genes of the chikungunya virus in the blood sample of the patient.

How to treat Chikungunya?

Home measures

The following are some of the home remedies that can help you to relieve the symptoms of Chikungunya and ensure a faster recovery.

  • Turmeric: Turmeric is considered as an effective antioxidant in stimulating defense mechanism against the Chikungunya virus. It also possesses certain anti-inflammatory properties and is used in relieving joint pain.
  • Stay Hydrated: Intake of adequate amounts of water and fluids prevents dehydration. It also helps to release toxins from your body.
  • Healthy diet: Green leafy vegetables and carrots have high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, which help in recovering and reducing the inflammatory symptoms that are caused by Chikungunya. Garlic is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to boost your immune system.
  • Papaya leaves: Taking 2-3 table spoons of juice from the papaya leaves regularly can increase your platelet count of your platelets and helps you recover soon.
  • Castor oil: Massaging the joints with castor oil helps in reducing joint pain.

Medical management

There is no antiviral treatment or specific drugs to treat Chikungunya. However, your doctor would recommend certain fever medication and painkillers to relieve the symptoms of Chikungunya..

Preventive measures

As there is no vaccine to prevent the spread of Chikungunya virus, it is advisable to follow certain prevention tips like:

  • Stay away from the areas where there is stagnant water.
  • Keep your surrounding areas clean and dry. Warm and moist areas are the primary mosquito vector breeding sites.
  • Use of mosquito repellent creams and mosquito nets helps you to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Wear a clothing that covers your entire body.
  • Avoid traveling to the places where there is an outbreak of the disease.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

References

  1. About chikungunya (Chikungunya in India). http://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_10_17/en/   Accessed on 10-10-2017
  2. Symptoms of Chikungunya – Its diagnosis and treatment. https://www.lalpathlabs.com/blog/symptoms-of-chikungunya/  Accessed on 10-10-2017
  3. Chikungunya antibodies, IgG and IgM. http://ltd.aruplab.com/Tests/Pub/2011812  Accessed on 10-10-2017
  4. What are the treatments for Chikungunya? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306828.php  Accessed on 10-10-2017
  5. 10 amazing home remedies for Chikungunya. https://www.morphemeremedies.com/top-10-amazing-home-remedies-for-chikungunya/  Accessed on 10-10-2017
  6. Preventive measures (Prevention of Chikungunya). http://www.homeopathyhelps.com/chikungunya.htm#Prevention of Chikungunya. Accessed on 10-10-2017

 

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