Symptoms of Chikungunya includes debilitating arthralgia (joint pain), swelling of joints, stiffness of joints, myalgia (muscular pain), headache, fatigue (weakness), nausea, vomiting and rash and fever. Acute chikungunya fever typically lasts a few days to a couple of weeks, but in many cases there is joint pain, or arthritis last for weeks or months. The illness is especially significant to those who are self employed and can’t afford loss of work. In any case, prevention is always better. Chikungunya fever can be prevented by these things:
1. Prevent mosquito bite
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person infected with CHIKV (Chikungunya Virus). Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other humans when they bite. Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito), a household container breeder and aggressive daytime biter which is attracted to humans, is the primary vector of CHIKV to humans. So the best way is to avoid mosquito bites.
- To avoid mosquito bite, Mosquito repellent vapouriser can be used indoor.
- For outdoor, local application of mosquito repellant on exposed skin is helpful. As Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a day-biter, so more care has to be taken when working outdoors.
- Use long sleaves shirts and pants to minimize the chances of mosquito bite
- Have secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
- Not only the healthy but person with Chikungunya fever should also be protected from mosquito bite. Limit infected person’s exposure to mosquito bites in order to avoid further spreading the infection through mosquito. The infected person should stay indoors or under a mosquito net to avoid its spread.
2. Prevention of Chikungunya with vaccines or medicines
No doubt, the best way to avoid Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) infection is to prevent mosquito bites. But it is not always possible. Chikungunya mosquito (Aedes Aegypti) bites in daytime so it is practically very difficult to prevent mosquito bite when you are working outdoors. So it is wise to additionally have medicinal prevention. Vaccine which can prevent Chikungunya couldn’t be developed yet.