Disgnosis Treatment

 

Joint pain is reported in 87–98% of cases, and nearly always occurs in more than one joint including peripheral joints such as the wrists, ankles and joints of the hands and feet as well as shoulders, elbows and knees. Joints are more likely to be affected if they have previously been damaged by disorders such as Arthritis. Pain may also occur in the muscles or ligaments.

Chikungunya may also cause long-term symptoms following acute infection. This condition has been termed as chronic Chikungunya virus-induced arthralgia. Common predictors of prolonged symptoms are increased age and prior rheumatological disease.

DIAGNOSIS

Serological tests, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-Chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibody levels are highest 3 to 5 weeks after the onset of illness and persists for about 2 months. Samples collected during the first week after the onset of symptoms should be tested by both serological and virological methods (RT-PCR). The virus may be isolated from the blood during the first few days of infection.

TREATMENT

There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including joint pains using antipyretics such as Paracetamol / Acetaminophen and fluids. There is no commercial Chikungunya vaccine available as yet.

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Best means of prevention is overall mosquito control and avoidance of mosquito bites in areas where the disease is common. This may be partly achieved with the use of mosquito nets, mosquito coils and vapourisers. Appropriate clothing for minimising skin exposure to the day-biting vectors is also advised. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin or to clothing in strict accordance with product label instructions. For those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, sick or older people, insecticide-treated mosquito nets offer good protection.

Dr. R. K. Singal

Dr. R. K. Singal
Principal Consultant &
Director and Coordinator of
Medical & Allied Services
Internal Medicine
BLK Super Speciality Hospital

“The safest way to prevent Chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites and its spread. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important, as you can get sick after just one bite. Precautionary measures such as use of good quality mosquito repellents, mosquito nets and wearing full sleeves clothes to keep the body covered is highly recommended. Avoid travelling to places where the incidence is high unless extremely necessary. Treatment usually is for the symptoms and include taking sufficient rest, taking more fluids, easily digestible food and medicines to relieve pain.”