Thirty two years after its last outbreak in India, chikungunya is back.
Somewhat rare viral fever with dengue-like symptoms, chikungunya has been sweeping Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Over the past three months more than 150,000 people had contracted the disease in these states.
This Viral is caused by an alpha virus which spreads through bites from the Aedes Aegypti mosquito-‘the same mosquito behind dengue’ – chikungunya is not considered fatal. But still 77 deaths since 2005 on the Indian Ocean island of reunion have been reported so far.
Symptoms of disease –
Nausea and vomiting
Joint and muscle pains, most patients recover in 3-5 days but a few suffer joint pain for months.
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya. Supportive therapy that helps ease symptoms, such as administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and getting plenty of rest, may be beneficial.
Infected persons should be isolated from mosquitoes in as much as possible in order to avoid transmission of infection to other people.