Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.
Chikungunya can turn dangerous when contracted by pregnant women, where in turn the new born can suffer from meningo-encephalitis. Chikungunya is definitely debilitating, but not life threatening. Even though there is no vaccine, it can fairly be prevented or controlled by taking preventive measures.
Listed below are some pointers that will help you keep yourself free from Chikungunya
– First and foremost, it is important that we keep ourselves away from mosquitoes. We should use mosquito repellant sprays and creams to avoid mosquito bites.
– Another important point is that we have a balanced diet and nutritious food to increase immunity and improve health.
– Take lots of fluid. Maintaining hydration is the key to quick recovery. Ensure salt intake stays steady.
– Basic precautions should be taken by people travelling to risk areas and these include use of repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
– If high fever continues for over 24 hours, consult a doctor. Do not take anti-fever medication or antibiotics on your own.
– Consult your family doctor who can advise you about the necessary measures that you will have to take to stay healthy if you develop the symptoms or have visited an area where chikungunya is found.
– For protection during outbreaks of chikungunya, wear clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the day-biting vectors.
Dr. PM Bhujang, President, Association of Hospital