Chikungunya: The New Threat

Sifat-Sharmin-Shiba

Recently a new type of virus has come out which is often similar to Dengue virus and the name of this virus is-‘Chikungunya’. Everybody thinks these two diseases are one and same in nature,but there is some differences between Chikungunya & Dengue virus in symptoms. Let us know what is Dengue virus. In general It is a mosquito-borne single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae. Genus-Flavivirus, which causes Dengue fever. Five serotypes of the virus have been found and five of them can cause the full spectrum of disease. Notwithstanding scientists are finding their understanding of dengue virus may be simplistic, as rather than distinct antigenic groups there appears to be a continuum.This same study identified 47 Additionally, coinfection with and lack of rapid tests for zika virus and chikungunya complicate matters in real world infections. Mainly the carrier of dengue fever is-Ades mosquitoes

On the other hand chikungunya is also a mosquitoes transmitted disease. It can be transmitted to people by mosquitoes and also mosquitoes by people. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Currently chikungunya has emerged in an epidemic form in Bangladesh and it has been said by Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control & Research (IEDCR).This  Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite during the day and at night.

Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop with some symptoms and according to CDC The major symptoms of chikungunya virus are-

  • Basically its begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain with weakness.
  • Besides that  headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rashes are seen.
  • Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
  • Most patients feel better within a week. But some of them the joint pain may persist for months with nausea or vomiting.
  • People at risk for more severe disease ,especially newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

Sometimes Chikungunya Virus Can Cause Brain Inflammation, Death. Catching the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya usually leads to fever and severe pain, but a new study shows it may also lead to inflammation in the brain, and even death in some people. The symptoms of chikungunya are likely to dengue and zika diseases which spreads by the same mosquitoes and after that it transmitted into chikungunya. if anyone develop this symptoms described above and have visited an area where chikungunya is found then healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar viruses like dengue and Zika as diagnosis.

Till now there is no any vaccine to prevent or no medicine to treat chikungunya virus. During the first week of infection, chikungunya virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.So at first we all have to be safe from ades mosquitoes bites by using mosquitoes repellent. Especially Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. During traveling to countries with chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens. Also have to suppress the haunt of ades mosquitoes as early as possible. Besides that-

-have to take plenty of water or fluids to prevent dehydration

-have to take medicine such as acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.

-have to consult with doctor or healthcare provider before taking aspirin or NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs for better health

Moreover with the help of govt. and non-govt organization or media , the drain system should be cleaned to destruct the mosquitoes as far as possible, so that we can get rid of these virus.

Sifat Sharmin Shiba is an undergrad student in Department of Pharmacy East West University, Bangladesh. She can be reached at sifatshiba2015@gmail.com

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