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The onset of monsoon in India is synonymous with the increase of diseases perpetrated by mosquitoes. The country is grappling with Dengue and Chikungunya, with new cases being reported every day. This year, we’ve seen more cases of Chikungunya, which is said to be somewhat less dangerous than Dengue but just as debilitating.
Today, we give you all the information you need to have about this disease in order to prevent and treat this epidemic.
- It is a viral disease which is caused by A. albopictus and A. aegypti (species of mosquito of the genus Aedes)
- The name ‘Chikungunya’ is derived from the Kimakonde language and literally translates to ‘to become contorted’ – an allusion to the disabling joint and muscle pain it causes.
- It is NOT contagious
- You can only get it once in a lifetime
- If not treated, it can be fatal
- It has no specific cure
- Symptoms can last for over a year
- It can be misdiagnosed as Dengue
- Severe Joint and muscle pain that can last upto a year.
- High fever – typically between 102 to 104°F lasting for about one week.
- Rash with red bumps occurring on the torso, face, hands or feet.
- Chronic fatigue, nausea and headaches.
The ELISA blood test is conducted to rule out Dengue and confirm the presence of the Chikungunya virus. As the symptoms are similar, it can be dangerous to start treatment before this test.
As mentioned above, there is no known cure or treatment for the disease. However, controlling the symptoms can provide relief to the patient. Paracetamol can help alleviate the fever and pain to some extent. However, non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Asprin should be avoided under all circumstances until Dengue is ruled out. These can cause thinning of the blood which can be fatal in case of Dengue.
Certain home remedies can be used to provide relief and ensure that the patient is brought back to perfect health within no time.
- Boil Tulsi leaves in some water and consume it after meals in order to aid digestion and boost immunity.
- DIY Massage Oil – Heat cinnamon and castor oil and use it to massage sore joints
- Eating dried grapes with cow’s milk can help alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
- Drink plenty of coconut water to detoxify the liver while keeping the body hydrated.
- Relieve sore joints by
adding Epsom salt and Neem leaves to lukewarm bath water.
- Add turmeric to your regular diet as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Avoid – Non-vegetarian food, milk, deep fried food, caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
With no vaccines or medication specific to the treatment of the disease, your best bet would be to prevent it. Following are some do’s and don’ts of the disease that will help you prevent as well as heal the disease.