Chikungunya Diagnosis | Chikungunya Treatment | Chikungunya Complications

What is Chikungunya Disease?

Chikungunya disease is a viral disease transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes, containing the Chikungunya virus. The right diagnosis is important for the treatment of chikungunya affected patient. There is no cure for the disease and treatment is purely focused on relieving the symptoms.  Most of the signs and symptoms are self-limiting.

Chikungunya treatment
Chikungunya treatment

Diagnosis of Chikungunya Disease:

The sign symptoms of Chikungunya disease are almost the same as Dengue’s that’s why misdiagnosis of this disease frequently happens. But with appropriate laboratory and diagnostic examinations, they can be distinguished.  It can only be definitively diagnosed by a blood test. Chikungunya fever can confirm through any of the tests followings:

  1. Isolation of the virus,
  2. Detection of IgM antibody,
  3. Demonstration of rising titer of IgG antibody,
  4. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Treatment of Chikungunya Disease:

There is no specific antiviral medicine against the CHIK virus. Also, there is no vaccine to prevent the chikungunya virus. Treatment should be done entirely symptomatic and focused on relieving the symptoms. There is no cure for the disease.

  1. Get adequate rest in a warm environment.
  2. Drinks enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
  3. Take paracetamol or acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
  4. Avoid Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until dengue ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding and adverse effects.
  5. Easy and light exercise and physiotherapy can be done to reduce pain and recover persons.
  6. Treatment must be started in all suspect cases without waiting for serologic or viral confirmation.
  7. All suspected cases should be kept under mosquito nets during the febrile period.
  8. During an epidemic, not all cases need to be subjected to virology/serologic investigations.

Complications of Chikungunya Disease:

Most patients recover fully within 7-10 days, but in some cases may persist for several months to years. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can be fatal. Complications of chikungunya fever are includes:

  1. Guillain-Barré syndrome- Rare peripheral nervous system disease characterized by muscle weakness.
  2. Meningoencephalitis- Inflammation of the membranes of the brain and adjoining cerebral tissue.
  3. Myelitis- Inflammation of the spinal cord.
  4. Cranial nerve palsies- Loss of function in the cranial nerves.
  5. Hemorrhage- Bleeding.
  6. Retinitis- Inflammation of the retina.
  7. Nephritis- Inflammation of the kidneys.
  8. Myocarditis- Inflammation of the heart muscle.
  9. Hepatitis- Inflammation of the liver.

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