Chikungunya – Signs, Symptoms, Complications & Prevention

Chikungunya is a self-limiting viral disease caused by chikungunya virus which is transmitted to humans by an infected female Aedes aegypti, mosquitoes. Chikungunya symptoms include fever and severe joint pain. Other commonly seen symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and skin rash. Joint pain is often debilitating involving all the joints; it varies in severity and duration. Patients with severe joint pain should be suspected to have chikungunya. The clinical signs and presentation are similar to other viral infections especially dengue and can be misdiagnosed as dengue clinically. Dengue fever which can be diagnosed at the early stage of fever by laboratory tests should be done to rule out. How does it affect our body? The virus attacks the lining of the joints in the body and causes inflammation and pain, which can last from few weeks to years. But in most of the cases patients recover without any residual joint pain. How is it Diagnosed?? Serological tests that detects IgM and IgG antibodies are used to confirm Chikungunya infection. The IgM antibody suggests recent infection, but they tend to peak after three weeks of infection and persist for about two months. So tests done for chikungunya in the early course of disease may show negative results. So it is advised to do these tests after four weeks of suspicion of chikungunya to get a correct report. Virology tests to detect the virus early in the course of the disease can be done. These tests are very expensive and not routinely done unless there is very high suspicion or the disease is very severe. How does it spread?...

15 Tips to Stay Safe from Dengue Fever

Expert tips to stay guarded this monsoon The onset of dengue has always coincided with the end of the monsoons. This monsoon season more than 100 positive cases of dengue were reported at RxDx. Dengue is a viral infection caused by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. The symptoms of Dengue are usually high fever accompanied by rashes. The best way to prevent dengue virus infection is to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Below are a few tips that may help reduce your risk of mosquito bites: Turn over empty pails and buckets so that they do not collect excess water. Cover the buckets and drums that are used for storing water. Clean out all empty flower pots. Ensure you do not over water potted plants. Clean and empty water bowls of domestic pets at home and the water bowls of birds in the balcony. Repair broken septic tanks and cover vent pipes with wire mesh if any. Discard the plants that you keep in water at home. Wear clothes that can cover you completely. Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants and closed-toe shoes instead of sandals. Apply mosquito repellents whenever possible or wear mosquito patches. The mosquitoes that carry the dengue viruses are most active from dawn to dusk; keep windows and doors closed during theses hours. If you have a cooler at home, make sure you clean it regularly. Keep the dustbins clean; do not let any dirt get collected to avoid mosquitoes. Light camphor as it will help in keeping the mosquitoes away. Sleep under a mosquito net. Adult mosquitoes tend to...