Encyclopedia

Chikungunya

Description

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected Aedes (Stegomua) albopictus tiger mosquitoes.

The disease shares some common clinical signs with dengue and can be diagnosed in areas where natural dengue hotspots exist. There is no cure for the disease, treatment is supportive and focuses on relieving symptoms.

Proximity to areas that are suitable for mosquito breeding is a risk factor for the development of viral infection.

The disease occurs most often in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades, mosquito vectors of the virus infection have spread to Europe, North and South America.

In 2007, transmission of the disease was first reported in a localized outbreak in northeastern Italy.

A few days ago in Burgas, and then in Shumen and Plovdiv, it was reported by the Regional Health Inspections about the identification of a tiger mosquito, which is the vector of the disease.

Chikungunya as a mosquito-borne viral disease was first described during an epidemic in southern Tanzania in 1952. The disease is caused by an RNA virus belonging to a genus of the family Togaviridae.

What are the symptoms?

Clinical manifestations of the disease usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus. Viral infection is characterized by a sharp rise in body temperature, often accompanied by joint pain.

Other generalized signs and symptoms are muscle aches, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days, but sometimes it can continue to be felt for several weeks.

Most patients recover completely, but in some cases, joint pain can continue to cause discomfort for several months, and in rare cases even years.

Also, in rare cases, the development of eye, neurological and cardiovascular complications, as well as gastrointestinal discomfort is observed.

The viral infection is not usually fatal, but sometimes the symptoms can be severe and disabling. Serious complications are not common, but in older people they can contribute to death.

People at risk of more severe disease are newborns who are infected around the time of birth, the elderly over 65, and people with conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Often the symptoms of those infected are mild and the infections may go undetected or the disease may be detected in areas where dengue is endemic.

Once a person has been infected once, it is believed to have long-term immunity against the causative virus.

Chikungunya treatment

There is no specific drug to treat the viral infection.

To alleviate their condition, patients should:

• Take rest;
• Drink fluids to prevent dehydration;
• Take medicines such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen or paracetamol to relieve fever and pain;

Prevention

• Viral infection can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites.
• Tiger mosquitoes – the vectors of viral infection are most active during the day.
• Use insect nets to keep mosquitoes out of your home. If you are still unable to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, you can use bed nets.
• You will help reduce the mosquito population around your home by emptying stagnant water from containers such as flower pots. or buckets.

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