Chikungunya fever is not a life threatening infection. Symptomatic treatment for mitigating pain and fever using anti-inflammatory drugs along with rest usually suffices. While recovery from Chikungunya is the expected outcome, convalescence can be prolonged (up to a year or more), and persistent joint pain may require analgesic (pain medication) and long-term anti-inflammatory therapy
There is neither Chikungunya virus vaccine nor drugs are available to cure the infection. Prevention, therefore, centers on avoiding mosquito bites. Eliminating mosquito breeding sites is another key prevention measure. To prevent mosquito bites, do the following:
Use mosquito repellents on skin and clothing
When indoors, stay in well-screened areas. Use bed nets if sleeping in areas that are not screened or air-conditioned.
When working outdoors during day times, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid mosquito bite.
(i) By elimination of all potential vector breeding places near the domestic or peri-domestic areas.
(ii) Not allowing the storage of water for more than a week. This could be achieved by emptying and drying the water containers once in a week.
(iii) Straining of the stored water by using a clean cloth once a week to remove the mosquito larvae from the water and the water can be reused. The sieved cloth should be dried in the sun to kill immature stages of mosquitoes.
The states affected by chikungunya are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharasthra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat & Kerala. In the year 2006, total number of 1390322 suspected Chikungunya fever cases were reported from the country.
Till 10 October 2006, 151 districts of eight states/provinces of India have been affected by Chikungunya fever. The affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi.
More than 1.25 million cases have been reported from the country with 752,245 cases from Karnataka and 258,998 from Maharashtra provinces. In some areas attack rates have reached up to 45%.
Researchers at the Institut Pasteur have managed to retrace the origin and evolution of the Chikungunya virus in the Indian Ocean through complete sequencing of the genome of six viral strains isolated from patients from Reunion Island and the Seychelles, as well as through partial sequencing of the viral protein E1 from 127 patients from the Indian Ocean islands (Reunion,Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, Mayotte). Their study, published in PLoS Medicine, opens up new research paths that should help to explain the magnitude of the epidemic and the occurrence of severe forms of the disease.
Created for Health Awareness on Chikungunya Dr.T.V.Rao MD. Email [email_address]