Most of you must have heard about or will hear about the Chikungunya outbreak in Delhi, killing several civilians. If you are feeling anxious about this disease, we will help you learn about Chikungunya symptoms and transmission. It has similar symptoms to Dengue, so make sure to consult a doctor and find out which disease you have acquired.
What is Chikungunya?
It is a viral disease that transmits through infected mosquitoes, to humans. However, unlike Dengue, that only targets humans as reservoirs of infection, chikungunya can affect some birds, cattle and even monkeys. It shares some clinical symptoms with dengue, therefore can result in misdiagnosis, at times. The disease does not currently have a cure. Treatment focuses on relieving the many symptoms of the condition.
This disease was first found in Southern Tanzania during an outbreak. The RNA virus was discovered in 1952 and belongs to the genus of the family Togaviridae. Name of the disease derives from the Kimakonde language, which means ‘to become contorted’.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
The disease causes high fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, rash and fatigue. Joint pain can be debilitating and vary in duration, lasting anywhere from few days to several weeks.
Most patients fully recover from the condition, however, for some the joint pain may last from many months or perhaps years. In some rare cases, neurological, heart and eye complications are also possible.
Difference between Dengue and Chikungunya
*Adopted from chikungunya.in
If you notice any of the above symptoms and live in an area with many mosquitoes, it may be a good idea to undertake a blood test as per the doctor’s recommendation. Receiving proper treatment can ensure immunity from future infections.