What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya is an infection state of human body, which is caused by the CHIKV or the chikungunya virus. The patient of chikungunya suffers from high fever and pain in the joints. These symptoms, however, may occur from two to twelve days from when the infection takes place in the human body.
The infection may cause some additional symptoms, which may or may not be observed by every patient suffering from this disease. Those may include muscular pain, headache, swelling in the joints, lack of appetite, and rashes over the skin. Normally it takes around a week from the time of occurrence to recover from this infection.
However, this period may vary based on the immune level of the individual or the severity of the infection. Additionally, the symptoms may persist for further few weeks post the infection is healed. For instance, some individuals may observe the joint pain for months from recovering from chikungunya. This is a dangerous disease with a fatal rate of 0.1%. It means that about one patient from every 1,000 would have lost life from it.
Although the disease could impact the individual of any age group or gender. however, the elderly individuals and those with a weaker immune system suffer with severe symptoms due to this infection. The disease was started in India a couple of years back. With a steep death rate right from its introduction, the whole country was brought to the panic situation.
Many people mistakenly think due to its name that the disease is caused by eating chickens suffering from the infecting virus. Though, its name is a word of the Kimakondelanguage, that means ‘becoming contorted’. This signifies its major symptom of severe pain in the joints. The disease was firstly detected in the Southern Tanzania in 1952. Post then, it spread across Africa, Asia and India.
Additionally, its cases have also been reported in Europe and America since 2000. The chikungunya infection, at times, could also be misinterpreted with dengue or zika due to their similar symptoms like fever with acute joint pain. The symptoms of the chikungunya infection in some cases could be fatal. Due to this reason, the elderly individuals or those with weaker immunity suffering from it need special attention.
What Causes Chikungunya?
The chikungunya infection is caused by the CHIKV virus, which is spread across humans by the mosquitos of two species, AedesAegypti and AedesAlbopictus. These mosquitos are the main carrier of the CHIKV virus, and they generally bite the humans during the day time. Rest than the humans, the virus causing chikungunya may also affect multiple animals, birds and rodents.
10 Ways to Prevent the Chikungunya Infection
Chikungunya, being a new disease in humans, has no cure. Only the symptoms associated with the disease are treated to provide the symptomatic relief to the impacted individual. Additionally, no vaccine has developed so far for prevention of this infection. The only way to escape from it is to follow some precautionary measures. Some of those are discussed below.
1- Use Mosquito Repellents
Since the primary carriers of the virus causing the chikungunya infection are a specific species of mosquitos, you will need to take all the measures to prevent your family from them. For instance, you should use mosquito repellents, like mosquito repelling plugin devices, fabric roll-ons, fast action cards, mosquito repelling coils, and more.
2- Prevent Yourself from Mosquitos Especially During the Day Time
As already mentioned, the AedesAegypti and AedesAlbopictus mosquitos, who are the main carriers of the chikungunya virus, bite humans during the day time. For this reason, you should prevent yourself from the mosquitos especially during the day time. An easy way to materialize this is to turn on the electric mosquito repelling plugin devices at your home during the day time also.
Additionally, put the fabric roll-on liquid on your clothes whenever you are going out. In case your kids go out for playing in a playground during the day time or in the evening, make sure they are wearing the long clothes like the shirts of full sleeves and trousers of full length. Rest than that, make sure that they wear shoes instead of slippers while going out. The lesser their body will be exposed, lesser the mosquitos will find the place to bite.
3- Discard the Open Empty Storage Containers and Old Tires from Near Your Home
The mosquitos and other insects tend to breed in the empty containers and old tyres placed outside the homes. If those are not needed, it is better to dispose those off to some distant junkyard from your home. The breeding of the mosquitos in such open containers and old tires is very drastic, when those have water stored therein. The water could be logged within those during the rainy season, which could spread the mosquitos causing chikungunya.
4- Avoid Logging of Water Near Your Home
As already mentioned in the previous point, the mosquitos, carrying the virus causing the chikungunya infection, breed more easily in the logged water. Therefore, you need to ensure that water is not logged near to your home. In case you could not do that for any reason, at least pour little amount of diesel or kerosene oil in the logged water on daily basis until the water is there. This will kill all the mosquitos and other insects roaming nearby. It will also destroy or inactivate the eggs that the mosquitos would have laid over there.
5- Get Pest Control Treatment at Your Home
Indeed, the mosquito repellents, like electric mosquito repelling plugin devices, are effective in keeping the mosquitos away from their base point. However, there are certain areas in the home, where those could not be used. For instance, those could not be operated easily in the kitchen, bathrooms or toilets.
A complete pest control treatment done at your home would kill the organisms and mosquitos at your home to a good extent. But also remember that such treatment once done does not guarantee to prevent your home from the mosquitos for a prolonged period. It is also important to repeat such treatments on regular basis like once in a month or 45 days, especially from the rainy season till the start of winters.
6- Take Special Attention During the Rainy Season
The chikungunya virus spreads primarily during the rainy season. This is because the mosquito spreading it breeds easily in the logged water. This way, you need to be attentive and prevent yourself from the mosquitos especially during the rainy season. However, this reason does not guarantee that the infection could not be spread in any other season of the year. You must prevent yourself from the mosquitos throughout the year, since those also spread other fatal diseases like dengue and malaria.
7- Use Mosquito Nets While Sleeping
It is seen that many species of mosquitos become resistant from the mosquito repellents and even the pesticides spread in your home. Additionally, overuse of those may also be unhealthy for the patients of breathing problems, elderly individuals and those with a weaker immunity. A good workaround is to use mosquito nets over the bed on which you sleep at night. Those are one of the safest ways through which you may prevent the mosquitos from biting you and be prevented from various diseases including chikungunya.
8- Keep the Windows and Doors of Your Home Closed
You need to ensure during the rainy season that the windows and doors of your home are opened only when needed. In case you would keep those open for a longer duration, the mosquitos spreading the chikungunya infection will enter your home easily and bite any of your family members. Also try to cover the ventilators of your home with some net. This will ensure normal ventilation in your home along with the restriction for the mosquitos’entry.
9- Keep Your Home and Surrounding Clean
Rest than the logged water, an unclean place also invites the mosquitos to breed easily and stay there. For this reason, you will need to keep your home and the surrounding areas clean. You should also pour some disinfectant, like phenyl, in the water used for mopping your home’s floor and other nearby places. Employers must keep their Office environment clean and they can also follow these additional tips to keep their employees Healthy.
10- Regularly Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Filters and Fridge Tray
The filters of your AC and fridge tray also provide the mosquitos with a favourable place to lay their eggs. You must clean your fridge tray and AC filters on regular basis, especially during the rainy season.
Chikungunya is a dangerous infection, which causes severe symptoms to its patients. The symptoms may turn fatal, if those are not treated on time. There is no treatment available for treating the infection itself. However, your physician would prescribe the medication for treating the symptoms.
The primary symptoms of this infection are fever with severe pain in the joints. If the symptoms are severe, the patients are needed to get hospitalized for periodic monitoring of progression and better care. The patients suffering from this infection are prescribed to take rest and drink plenty of fluids. The only prevention of this disease is to prevent yourself from the mosquitos through all the possible ways. One can also follow these tips to stay healthy