Chikungunya fever, a viral infection, spread due to mosquito bite can result in sudden fever and serious pain in joints. There are also other symptoms and signs to identify the virus like rashes, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and more. The symptoms of chikungunya fever usually become apparent after 2-7 days of being bitten by the mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, no vaccination has been developed yet by medical science that can prevent chikungunya fever and no effective anti-viral treatment is available yet to treat the condition. This virus usually runs for a limited period of time and usually is not a fatal disease, if prompt treatment for chikungunya fever is received in time. Homeopathic remedies aim to alleviate the signs and symptoms of chikungunya fever and relieve the joint pain caused by the virus and can be of great help.
Initially, the virus of chikungunya fever was believed to be a tropical disease, until most of the outbreaks were reported from African region, India and Asia. However, now it no longer can be considered as a tropical disease and in recent years, millions of cases of chikungunya fever have been reported in Latin America, Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada and USA as well.
Symptoms of Chikungunya Fever
People who are infected with this virus, experience some symptoms of chikungunya fever, which usually develop 2-7 days after being bitten by the infected mosquitoes. The symptoms of chikungunya fever can be disabling and serious. In most of the cases, the patients usually get better after 1-2 weeks, but the joint pain may persist for weeks and months.
Newborns, elderly people and people with medical ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases are at great risk of developing chikungunya fever. Some of the common signs and symptoms of chikungunya fever include:
- Sudden onset of high fever
- Severe joint pain, especially in legs and arms
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
Incubation period for Chikungunya Fever can be 2-12 days. However, some patients may not have fever or other symptoms of chikungunya fever and is considered as silent chikungunya fever. The fever of chikungunya virus usually lasts for few days or a week. But, the patients may experience prolonged fatigue lasting for many weeks. Some patients with Chikungunya have also reported for arthritis and incapacitating joint pain that last for several weeks and months.
Spread of Chikungunya Virus
Chikungunya usually spreads when the person is bitten by the infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes get infected when they feed on the person suffering from the chikungunya fever. There are many wild animals, especially monkeys, which are considered to be the potential reservoirs of such chikungunya virus. When mosquitoes feed on these infected wild animals they get infected with the chikungunya virus and easily spread or transmit the virus to other humans by biting them.
The yellow fever mosquito or Aedes Aegypti is an aggressive daytime biter and they are mostly found in households and easily gets attracted towards humans. These types of mosquitoes are the prime vectors to transmit the chikungunya virus to humans. In Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito or the Aedes Albopictus plays a crucial role in transmitting the virus of chikungunya to humans. There are also other forests dwelling mosquito species available that can transmit the virus to humans and spread chikungunya fever.
Prevention of Chikungunya
While there are ongoing researches to find an effective vaccination for chikungunya fever, presently taking proper measures can help to prevent chikungunya fever. The first and most important step to prevent chikungunya fever is to avoid mosquito bites and if possible, carriers of this infection. Having control over breeding of mosquitoes can help you prevent chikungunya fever.
Some of the prevention tips for chikungunya fever are:
- Wear long sleeves and full pants
- Always use mosquito repellent on the exposed skin, even during daytime
- Install secure screens on doors and windows to prevent infected mosquitoes from entering the house.
Other ways to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in your house is emptying the standing water from pots, barrels, buckets and flower pots. Try to change the stored water from the pet's dishes regularly and replace the water from bird baths daily. If you have tire swings at home then drill holes on it so that the water can drain out.
Moreover, the person who is already infected with Chikungunya virus must avoid exposure to mosquito bites so that further spreading of the virus can be prevented. Staying under mosquito net and inside the house can limit their exposure to bites of mosquito and further spreading of the virus to other people at home and can help in prevention of chikungunya virus.
Is Chikungunya Contagious?
No, the virus of Chikungunya is not considered to be contagious as there is no direct human to human transmission of viruses. So, the person who is infected with chikungunya virus cannot transmit the disease to other person. Mosquitoes are the primary carrier of such viruses who bite the infected person and transmit the virus to other person when they bite them. But, the outbreaks may occur amongst the population where there is a large number of both human and mosquitoes are infected with the virus. It is very rare that the virus can be transmitted from mother to her newborns baby because researches have proved that this type of virus can only be transmitted with blood transfusion from infected person.
Diagnosis of Chikungunya Fever
Most of the symptoms of chikungunya fever are just similar to that of Zika and dengue fever and the virus can spread by the same type of mosquitoes that actually spread the disease of chikungunya. If you develop any of the aforementioned symptoms and signs you must seek immediate medical attention. If you have recently traveled to the area prone to chikungunya fever and you experience fever or other symptoms, it is better to see a doctor. The doctor will ask you for some blood tests to check if the virus of chikungunya is present in your body. Appropriate investigations can help to make a diagnosis of chikungunya fever.
Treatment and Homeopathic Remedies for Chikungunya Fever
Though there is no treatment for chikungunya, medicines to relieve symptoms may be prescribed by the doctor. Some homeopathic remedies can provide effective treatment for chikungunya fever. Homeopathy has been advanced in recent past and several medicines and drugs are available in homeopathy that can treat a variety of diseases and ailments, including chikungunya fever. After you are diagnosed with chikungunya fever, you must start the homeopathy treatment for chikungunya.
Homeopathy works efficiently for most viral diseases, with no side effects. The homeopathic doctor can prescribe effective remedies based on the clinical picture and condition of the patient. Some homeopathic remedies like Eupatorium, Rhus tox, Natrum Mur, Arsenic and nosodes are known to be effective in treatment and prevention of chikungunya fever. It is important to seek opinion from an expert homeopathic practitioner and take medicine as advised.
In outbreaks, the spread of chikungunya fever can be prevented with the right homeopathic treatment. Genus Epidemicus is a result oriented homeopathy remedy that is considered to be the best preventive remedy for chikungunya. The medicines prescribed by homeopathic doctors are also very effective for the post chikungunya symptoms like muscles pain, joint pain and stiffness of joint and weakness.