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Chikungunya - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Chikunguniya?

Chikungunya is a disease which is best described as a mosquito borne viral disease. It is characterized by a sudden onset of fever accompanied by joint pain. The joint pain is debilitating, but it can usually lasts for few days to weeks. This virus can cause chronic, subacute and acute diseases. Chikungunya can cause gastrointestinal, heart related and neurological complications. In older people, this virus can also cause death. Chikungunya is often misdiagnosed with dengue as the symptoms are somewhat similar. The only difference between chikungunya and dengue is that, the former can circulate with cattle, birds and monkeys, but dengue can only spread through mosquito bites.

How is it transmitted?

Chikungunya is mostly prevalent in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. This virus can be transmitted from human to human by female mosquitoes bites. The mosquito species involved is called Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. These mosquitoes can be found in daylight hours but they are more prevalent in the late afternoon. These species usually feed outdoors but Aedes aegypti usually feed indoors. The symptoms of chikungunya can prolong for 3 to 6 months.


A test called IgM titers is used to diagnose chikungunya. This test usually measures the rising concentration or level of antibodies in the blood. This quantifies the response of the body to fight an active infection. A blood test called RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) is performed. If this test is not available, the specialist usually tests the number of leucocytes present in the blood due to viral infection. The blood count is constantly monitored. If it drops down suddenly it is safe to be under close medical observation.


Once a person is affected with chikungunya, he/she is given a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration. There is no vaccination yet for chikungunya, but painkillers are given to heal joint pain. sometimes, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed which are not aspirin based. Antipyretics and analgesic drugs are also taken to reduce the symptoms of chikungunya. If you live in a mosquito inefested or a tropical area which faces rainfall most of the times, it is better to take proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites. This can be done by cleaning up pools or stagnant water where the mosquitoes can breed, utilizing mosquito nets, closing the windows of your house in the evening, using mosquito repellent creams and wearing full body covering clothing.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Joint pain Fever Headache and muscle pain Rashes can develop throughout your body Joint swelling

Popular Health Tips

Cyclone Titli - Ways To Manage Diseases It Can Cause!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
Cyclone Titli - Ways To Manage Diseases It Can Cause!

Cyclone 'Titli', which has has been categorised as a 'very severe cyclonic storm', hit the coastal Odisha region at a daunting speed of 140-150 kmph. The cyclone has already caused a lot of destruction in the region and the government has deployed NDRF teams to carry out rescue operations.

Titli, which means 'Butterfly' in English, has uprooted many trees and electricity poles but fortunately has yet not caused any casualties. India Meteorological Department has said that the cyclone will weaken gradually with the decreasing wind speed, but the aftermath of this cyclone can be very unpleasant for the people living near the coastal areas.

Where Titli has created a havoc in India, Hurricane Michael, a category 4 monster storm, has reached Florida. Over half-a-million have been either ordered or advised to evacuate as it inched closer to Panama City. It has already caused 14 deaths in Central America and is still going strong.

Such cyclonic storms and hurricanes not only disturb the normal life during their stay in the region but also lead to spread of various diseases.

Diseases which can spread:

Apart from the risk of serious mental trauma during the cyclonic period, the possibility of spread of water and vector-borne diseases also increase.

Following are the waterborne diseases it can cause:

  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A
  • Amoebiasis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Cyclosporiasis
  • Giardiasis
  • Microsporidiosis
  • Naegleriasis
  • Botulism
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Dysentery
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Vector-borne diseases that can spread:

  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue fever
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Rift Valley fever
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika
  • Malaria
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • West Nile fever

Ways to prevent Vector-borne diseases:

Once the tragedy ends, people should ignore being in vegetated areas to avoid encounter with insects, like mosquitoes. People should wear protective clothing and avoid using perfumes which may attract mosquitos.

Pregnant women should also try not to go outside their houses during peak times of mosquito activity.

Here are some more preventive measures for vector-borne diseases:

  • Apply insect repellents to exposed by body parts as well as clothing
  • Do not apply it to wounds or irritated skin
  • Take a bath or wash your body after returning home
  • Wash the clothes after every single time you go out
  • Sleep in netted or screened area

Measures to prevent waterborne diseases:

Waterborne diseases transmit when contaminated water is used for purposes including drinking, washing uncooked vegetables, brushing teeth and washing dentures or contact lenses. Here are the other ways to prevent waterborne diseases:

  • Drink purified water only
  • If your area has sanitation problems, avoid coming in contact with outside water.
  • Do not use untreated water from a spring, river, lake or pond
  • Do not always consider boiled water safe for consumption as it does not contain chlorine to avoid recontamination
  • Avoid using ice cubes
  • Avoid eating outside
  • Maintain good hygiene by using soaps and sanitisers

The cyclonic storm will pass off soon but will create several issues that would require proper attention to be prevented. So, after surviving it, you must follow the above-mentioned measures to stay safe and healthy.

An Effective Way To Prevent And Cure Dengue & Chikungunya With Homoeopathy!

Homeopath, Noida
An Effective Way To Prevent And Cure Dengue & Chikungunya With Homoeopathy!

Many surveys have proved that homeopathic medicines are extremely effective in treating all these cases of viral fever related to Dengue and Chikungunya, thereby help in restoring the health of the patient. Let us see one by one how homeopathy can help in the prevention and cure of both:

Dengue is a mosquito-borne infectious disease, which causes flu-like symptoms. The disease is caused by 4 different viruses and is spread by the Aedes species of mosquitos. Dengue affects your blood cells, which in turn results in a sudden drop in the platelet count. Ideally, the platelet count ranges from 1.5-4 lacs, but in people affected by dengue virus, the platelet count goes down to as low as 20,000-40,000. This condition can be fatal. The onset on dengue is through fever. Dengue is one of the diseases that is transmitted through parasites like mosquitoes. Often it tends to occur in most of the tropical countries.

Symptoms of dengue can vary from mild to severe-

Dengue symptoms usually develop 4-7 days after the mosquito bite. So many times the person affected by the virus does not realize that he/she has already been infected. If the fever does not subside in 3-4 days, one should immediately consult a doctor and have himself diagnosed.

Prevention and Cure through Homeopathy:
The Homeopathic approach of prevention and cure include:

  1. It is an effective way through which immune-modulation of patients is done without having the risk of any side-effect.
  2. The choice of homeopathic drugs depends upon an individual’s response to infection and the severity of the virus.
  3. The symptoms of the patients affected are studied carefully to decide upon the curative as well as preventive homeopathic medicines.


Similar to dengue, the chikungunya virus is spread by an infected female mosquito- the Aedes genus mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on any person affected with this virus. Unlike dengue, this viral disease is rarely fatal. However, the symptoms of chikungunya can be long-lasting, severe and debilitating.

The major symptoms of chikungunya include-

In 2006, Chikungunya affected approximately 40,000 people, out of which nearly 1316 cases turned out to be fatal.

Prevention and Cure through Homeopathy:

In Homeopathy, there is a concept known as “Genus Epidemicus”, which helps as preventive remedy in an epidemic like this. This concept involves:

  1. Clinical picture of a group of patients in a specific locality gets studied and hence the most appropriate remedy is selected as the Genus Epidemicus for Chikungunya.
  2. Genus Epidemicus helps in increasing person’s immunity to such a level that even after mosquito bites; it is unable to produce any active disease in the person’s body.


  1. Homeopathic medicines get prescribed as per the clinical presentation of the patient, which become very effective in giving relief from the complaints during Chikungunya.
  2. Homeopathy is effective in all kinds of viral diseases.
  3. The pills given are simply chewed on tongue and tastes sweet.
  4. These medicines do not cause any kind of gastric irritation.

Why Homoeopathy?

Since there are no effective medications, vaccines or treatment options for Dengue and Chikungunya, the only way to steer clear of these diseases is to prevent their occurrence. Homoeopathy medicines and remedies are very effective in preventing and curing the mosquito-borne diseases, Dengue and Chikungunya. These medicines are prepared from natural substances, hence are extremely safe. Eupatorium perfoliatum is a perennial plant, the extracts of which are used in preparing homoeopathy drugs for dengue. This helps ease the pain in the joints and in the eyeballs. This wonder plant also helps you recover from a severe headache. Arsenic album, a solution made from diluted aqueous arsenic trioxide, can ease symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Belladonna can cure high fever; reduce skin rashes and swelling in the joints.

Apart from these, health awareness is mandatory for the prevention of these diseases. Clean surroundings, practising good hygiene play a major role in averting prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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What Are The Symptoms Of Chikungunya?

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
General Physician, Jaipur
What Are The Symptoms Of Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to people by the bite of an infectious mosquito known as Aedes Aegypti. The chikungunya infection is most prevalent in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Indian Ocean islands, where various incidents of these disease and certain outbreaks have occurred over the years.

Humans and different animals are the regular hosts for the chikungunya virus, which can turn out to be very painful if it is not treated on time with proper medical care and intervention. The virus is spread to people by the bite of a female mosquito called Aedes aegypti or Aedes Albopictus. These are the same tropical and sub-tropical mosquitoes that spread the dengue virus. They breed in or close to human habitations and want to feed on people during the daytime in shady zones. These are likely to bite you at during the early hours of the evening or at night. The hatching time frame (time from disease to sickness) can be anywhere between two to 12 days.

Symptoms: Chikungunya infection is characterised by the following symptoms:

  1. High or blazing fever
  2. Extreme joint pain for the most part in the arms and legs
  3. Headache
  4. Pain in the muscle
  5. Pain in the back
  6. Body ache
  7. Rash (in about 50% of the infected people)

A vast majority begins to feel better following 7 to 10 days but a few people will go through longer term joint pain.


  1. There is no particular medicine to prevent chikungunya. There is no antibiotic that can help in doing away with it - it usually abates on its own. Chikungunya treated on the basis of a patient's symptoms. However, there are some precautions and alternate medications that can be used as a cure.
  2. Bed rest, liquids, and medication to soothe side effects of fever and hurting. Asprin should be avoided.
  3. Personal protection and a hygienic environment is important to prevent the growth of the illness.

Since this virus does not have a vaccine or any particular medicine, one should try to stay away from mosquitos as much as possible. Covering yourself up while travelling, especially in the evening is the best approach to prevent it.

2 people found this helpful

Is Chikungunya Causing You Joint Pain? Manage It With Ayurveda!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD-Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Delhi
Is Chikungunya Causing You Joint Pain? Manage It With Ayurveda!

Mosquitoes, though tiny, can wreak havoc on the human health. Malaria and dengue were common enough, but now another disease doing the rounds is chikungunya. This is a viral disease that spreads by the bites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The disease lasts for 5 to 7 days. Also, even though the weather is changing, it is still prevalent and as on November 18, 878 cases have been reported in Delhi itself. 

Symptoms of chikungunya are very non-indicative and include high temperature, rashes and multiple spots on the body, multiple joint pains, headaches, conjunctivitis and insomnia. The presence of joint pains associated with a high incidence of mosquito breeding is indicative of chikungunya. The fever usually subsides in a couple of days, but the other symptoms would persist for about a week.

Management of chikungunya includes a combination of prevention and treatment. Prevention is more important than treatment as it is easier done.

  1. To the maximum extent possible, avoid mosquito bites.
  2. Avoid using rainwater-filled containers, potted plants that stagnate water and drinking bowls for domestic animals.
  3. Wear full-sleeved clothing when mosquito bites are likely to be higher.
  4. Use mosquito repellents in the forms of coils, creams, and mats
  5. Use mosquito nets where possible
  6. Prevent mosquito breeding by draining possible areas of water stagnation

Treatment: There is no specific allopathic remedy for the treatment of chikungunya. The prescribed medicines are only for symptomatic relief, and given the intense and prolonged joint pains, the patient ends up using a lot of painkillers. There are cases where the pains may persist for up to 6 months. This is where Ayurveda comes into the picture, as there are multiple effective remedies that have been proven effective over the ages.

  1. Massage your joints with a mixture of castor oil, drumstick, camphor, garlic, and coconut oil. This oil can be heated and stored in a glass jar for about 3 days. Warm this oil and use it for effective relief of the joint pains.
  2. A mixture of castor oil and cinnamon can also be used to massage the painful joints.
  3. A concoction of ajwain seeds, raisins or dry grapes, tulsi leaves, and neem leaves boiled in water is an effective remedy for the joint pains. This is to be used when it is warm after food and the residual ingredients chewed upon.
  4. A diet rich in fresh fruits, greens and vegetables is recommended.
  5. Drinking sufficient amounts of liquids (water, coconut water, lime juice, and buttermilk) to keep good hydration levels and recuperate from the illness.
  6. Ensure sufficient rest for the joints even after the initial fever has subsided.

Ayurveda has references to something called “sandhijwara” which is “fever of the joints”. Sandhijwara is very similar to chikungunya and these remedies used for this can be very useful in treating chikungunya.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4437 people found this helpful

Dengue And Chikungunya - Prevention by Ayurveda Medicine Is Possible!

MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), DY ( Yoga & Ayurvedic Diet ), CCYP ( Yoga & Ayurvedic Diet )
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Dengue And Chikungunya - Prevention by Ayurveda Medicine Is Possible!

Thousands of our clients (all over india) are doing it for their family for last many years - as soon as the rain starts, they start giving a small dose of our precious authentic combination to their family ( from 01 year old child upto 70 years old members) for 01-02 months - & as a result they dont get trapped by these formidable dengue & chikungunya (in 80% cases) & the rest 20%, if get trapped, come out of it in a much shorter duration without much complication. Joint pain & other complications are easily handled by some more ayurveda medicines.

The medicine has an additional value of improving your digestion & detoxifying your body.

Its better to start the medicine as early as possible to keep your family healthy in this rainy season.

2 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Caught by chikungunya last July 2016/but too much joint pain still der along wid too much stiffness ,vit d ,thyroid, crp CBC ,uric acid all test done and all normal report ,allopathy give nsaid ,I waz taking it since 2 months no relief ,homeo not helped ,I m confused wat to do wat will help me.

MBBS, DNB - Orthopedics, Fellowship In Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine
Orthopedist, Bangalore
You need to rule out arthritis. There is something called Sero positive and Sero negative arthritis. That's what has to be checked. Contact for further explanation. Its too much to explain in this short place.

Hello Dr! My mother had suffered from chikungunya about 2 months ago but still she have severe joints pain mostly in feet and sometime swelling appears on hand and foots. please suggest what to do.

FRHS, Ph.D Neuro , MPT - Neurology Physiotherapy, D.Sp.Med, DPHM (Health Management ), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
Do Take IFT and vacuum Therapy Physiotherapy treatment for pain relief for 12 days followed by strengthening exercise from physiotherapist Best wishes.

Sir can you give me a right Medicines for chicken gunia infections, what r the symptoms, and how long it takes a time to prevent. Thanks.

Homeopath, Kochi
Are you looking for preventive medicine or treatment for chickun guneya..if treatent it needs to be taken for six viral arthritis ..take homoeopathic medcines

What are the symptoms for chikungunya? What are the precautions for this disease?

General Physician, Mumbai
Dear lybrateuser, - Symptoms of chickengunya can include high fever, joint pain which can last for months, headache, weakness, sometimes nausea & vomiting - precautions are to maintain hygiene & sanitation around the house - apply mosquito repellant cream on exposed parts of the body - wear full sleeve shirts & trousers when moving out of house - use mosquito repellant mats & coils - prevent stagnation of water around house.
1 person found this helpful