In this rainy season, there are many mosquito breeding places around you.
1. Try to avoid water collection. Fresh or old.
2. Avoid dark, shady area and corners.
3. Use mosquito repellants whenever going out in day or night.
4. Get insecticides sprayed around your house or offices.
5. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
6. Watch for headache, joint pain, fever, yellow urine and talk to your doctor early treatment will save complications.
7. Start malaria prophylaxis before, during and after travel.
The tiny mosquito can pose a lot of health issues. While malaria was the only dreaded disease until some time ago, the incidence of chikungunya is constantly on the rise. In fact, the nonspecific symptoms and absence of vaccination make it extremely difficult to prevent and diagnose this in the early stages.
Causes: First described in the African continent (Tanzania), the word chikungunya means “to walk bent over” in the Makonde or Kimakonde language. This appearance is because of the effect on bones, leading to severe bone and joint pains. More than 90% of the people who are bitten by the infected mosquito develop symptoms.
Chikungunya is a member of the Togaviridae family and is transmitted by bites of the infected female mosquito. In rare cases, the infection can spread through blood transfusions of the infected person.
After entering the bloodstream, it divides and multiplies rapidly in different types of cells including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and connective tissue cells. These produce the symptoms including the rashes and the joint pains.
Symptoms: The challenge with chikungunya is that there is no specific, telltale symptom indicative of the condition. The patient develops nonspecific symptoms as below, somewhere between 4 to 7 days after the infected mosquito bite.
High fever (as high as 40 degrees Celsius)
Pain involving multiple joints which can be debilitating
Swelling around the joints
Though the disease is not fatal, it can be quite limiting. The fever and other symptoms may disappear within a week, but the joint pains can last up to 6 months to a year.
Diagnosis: A blood test is the most diagnostic test for confirming the disease. Dengue fever and Zika virus need to be ruled out, as their presentation is very similar.
Treatment: There is no definitive treatment for this condition and it is mostly symptomatic.
The patient is advised rest to recover from the fever and fatigue
Pushing fluids, including juices and electrolytes is recommended to prevent dehydration
Fever needs to be managed with antipyretic medications
Joint pains are managed with nonsteroidal painkillers
Avoid aspirin as it increases the tendency to bleed
Physiotherapy is recommended to improve severe bone/joint pains to improve mobility and reduce swelling
Check with your doctor to see if your regular medications need to be revisited
There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya, though virus like particles that can be a potential vaccine are in the final stages of trials. Prevention of mosquito bites is also highly recommended as an important step in controlling the disease.
The monsoons have arrived. And rains are a great delight especially after the scorching heat of summer. The cloudy sky, the downpour and lush greenery all around make the season a beautiful time to enjoy and get relief from the harsh and sweaty summers.
But monsoons also brings several diseases due to change of weather, food and water contamination, and breeding of mosquitoes in stagnated waters. Many people get sick during the monsoon as the damp and filthy conditions give the insects and pathogenic micro-organisms a good scope to multiply and spread diseases like dengue, malaria, typhoid, viral fever, common cold, gastrointestinal disturbances, etc.
The due precaution to be taken to prevent them are:
A little effort on your part coupled with care and caution can really help you enjoy this monsoon to its fullest. Happy Monsoon!