Symptoms & Treatment of Chikungunya Fever

Symptoms of Chikungunya Fever

The symptoms of chikungunya fever generally start with fever 2-4 days after bite of an infected mosquito. The symptoms of chikungunya fever are:

Rapid onset of joint pains (which is severe, crippling migrating, polyarticular arthritis) and it may or may not be associated with-

• Muscle pain
• High grade fever
• Conjunctivitis
• Rash

The infection is rarely life-threatening and majority of the patients recover in a few days. But it can cause substantial morbidity such as prolonged fatigue lasting several weeks, pain in joints for months or years. The prolonged joint pain seen in chikungunya fever is usually not observed in dengue and hemorrhagic cases typical of dengue fever are not seen in chikungunya virus infection.

Treatment of Chikungunya Fever
Specific antiviral drugs or vaccine for treatment of chikungunya fever are not available. Hence early diagnosis and proper treatment are important for control of infection. People with chikungunya fever are treated symptomatically.

• Fever: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are used to relieve fever. If you are in a hot environment, drink plenty of fluid to prevent dehydration.
• Pain in muscles and joints: Ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen may be prescribed to relieve pain. Avoid aspirin especially in children.
• Rest: Take adequate rest.
• Use bed-nets: At home, patient should use bed-nets, preferably permethrin-impregnated nets while resting and other measures such as use of insecticide sprays should be considered to avoid further mosquito exposure (this is done so that they do not contribute to the transmission cycle).

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