Chikungunya is a viral disease, which is transmitted into humans mostly through mosquito bites. It occurs almost in every part of the world, though most cases are found in tropical regions, the USA, the Caribbean, etc. Generally, it is carried and transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. However, in recent times another mosquito species named Aedes albopictus has also been found to be its carrier.
Sadly, there is no specific cure and vaccination for Chikungunya. The treatment is based on relieving symptoms of the infection. Identifying the symptoms and diagnosing them forms a major part of Chikungunya treatment.
Identifying Symptoms of Chikungunya
Detecting the symptoms and diagnosing them forms a major part of treatment for this viral ailment. The symptoms of Chikungunya manifest in three phases in the victims.
> In the acute phase, the symptoms can appear suddenly after the virus lying dormant in the body for up to a week. The symptoms include high fever, joint pain, and skin rashes.
> In the sub-acute phase, which begins after months of the acute phase the main symptom is joint pains.
> The chronic phase sets in after 3 months of a victim getting infected with the virus. It results in chronic joint pain and fever at times. Other symptoms of the disease include headache, constipation and pain in abdomen. The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of dengue and malaria to an extent.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options For Chikungunya
When you see the symptoms of chikungunya in your body and they persist, it is time you see a doctor. The doctor is likely to collect blood samples and perform lab tests.
Ways To Treat Chikungunya
Since there is no cure for chikungunya, treatment is mainly based on methods to relieve symptoms and pain.
> Rest- You need to take adequate rest so that your body can recover from the infection.
> Cold pack- to get relief from joint pain caused by the disease, use cold packs from time to time. Use a towel to apply ice on the skin.
> Medications- The amount of joint pain can vary from one person to another. The doctor may advise taking pain medications. However, taking aspirin and some typical OTC drugs, including NSAIDs is not advisable. Those with kidney and liver issues should not take such drugs without medical supervision.
> Hydration- Fever often leads to dehydration in the victims. So, you need to drink plenty of water with added salt.
> Workout- Performing light intensity exercises can be beneficial for people afflicted with this viral ailment. This helps relieve the joint pain and reduce stiffness of muscles. While low impact exercise or aerobics is fine, the victims should refrain from working out rigorously.
> Skin treatment products- The disease can lead to itchy skin or rashes at times. The doctor can advise suitable skin creams to take care of these problems.
> Herbs- While a number of herbs have been found to be effective in relieving symptoms of Chikungunya, you should not use them without medical consent. One such example is Echinacea extract.
Rest and a balanced diet in combination with your medicines will set you on a path of recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice closely and the above tips, and you will be up and about in no time at all!