Zonkerala Articles -> Chikunguniya - Origin, Indian Scenario, Symptoms and Preventive Measures
Kerala is under Chikunguniya threat every year during monsoon season. Chikunguniya spreads in Kerala very fast. It is a viral fever transmitted by mosquito bite. 'Alpha virus' under 'Non Flavo' genus is the cause of Chikunguniya. It will not be transmitted from person to person in any means other than mosquito bite.
Chikunguniya was first found in Tanzania in Africa. The disease derives
its name from a kind of bamboo found in this area named 'Chikunguniya'.
Chikunguniya Bamboo will bent when there is wind. The patient affected
with Chikunguniya cannot stand straight due to joint pain. From Tanzania,
Chikunguniya spread to Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia,
Mauritius, Pakistan, Srilanka and India.
Chikunguniya in India
Chikunguniya was found in India in 1963. Calcutta was the affected area
where over 1lakh people were affected with Chikunguniya. In 1973,
Maharashtra also had Chikunguniya attack. Then after a gap of 32 years, in
2005, India was again affected with Chikunguniya virus. It started off in
Maharashtra in December 2005 and spread to all nearby states like
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh. About 30 lakh people were affected with fever in these states.
WHO (World Health Organisation) is on a stand that Chikunguniya cannot be
a reason for death. But in Kerala many people died because of fever in
2006 and 2007. But in the other south Indian states, no death was reported
due to Chikunguniya. Now the Health Department in Kerala is now under the
conclusion that older people and patients with other illness can die
because of Chikunguniya. Later, younger people without any other diseases
and unborn babies also died due to fever. So the Health department of
Kerala couldn't control the disease.
High fever, joint pain, joint swellings, head ache, shivering, loss of appetite, vomiting and rashes on the skin are the major symptoms of Chikunguniya fever. The symptoms will appear within 3-4 days after the mosquito bite. Fever will remain for 7-20 days. Joint pain will be there for a much longer time. There are two types of joint pains. The pain under the 'Althragia' category will not be very intense. But the 'Arthritis' category pain will be more intense and will remain for a long time with joint swellings also.
There are no particular drug for Chikunguniya. Paracetamol is used for
controlling body temperatures and to reduce pain. I.V fluid is given in
order to retain the fluid content in the body.
'Aedes Egypti' mosquito under the Aedes genus causes Chikunguniya. This
same mosquito causes the dengue fever. It has black body with white lines
and is called Tiger mosquito. This type of mosquito is found common in
Kerala. These mosquitoes bite during day time. Aedes Egypti mosquito breeds
in fresh water. They lay eggs in unused water tanks, wells, water stored
in plastic bags and utensils.
The first and foremost thing to remember while trying to prevent Chikunguniya is avoiding mosquito bite. Mosquitoes should be destroyed. Water storage utensils should kept closed. Use of mosquito repellent creams and mosquito nets also can help to some extent in avoiding mosquito bite. Waste materials in and around the house should be cleaned at least once a week.