The fogging team from the Health Department was at my neighbourhood yesterday. I was made to understand that there were cases of chikungunya and dengue in the area.
What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya (in the Makonde language “that which bends up”) virus (CHIKV) is an insect-borne virus, of the genus Alphavirus, that is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes. There have been recent outbreaks of CHIKV associated with severe illness. CHIKV causes an illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever. CHIKV manifests itself with an acute febrile phase of the illness lasting only two to five days, followed by a prolonged arthralgic disease that affects the joints of the extremities. The pain associated with CHIKV infection of the joints persists for weeks or months, or in some cases years.
Sign and symptoms
The incubation period of Chikungunya disease is from two to four days. Symptoms of the disease include a fever up to 40 °C (104 °F), a petechial or maculopapular rash of the trunk and occasionally the limbs, and arthralgia or arthritis affecting multiple joints.
The most effective means of prevention are protection against contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes and mosquito control.
There are no specific treatments for Chikungunya. There is no vaccine currently available.