Chikungunya Virus Facts

Chikungunya Virus Facts
The chikungunya virus is a virus that causes chikungunya infection, resulting in joint pain and fever, as well as a possible rash, headaches, and muscle pain. In roughly one case in every 1,000 the infection is fatal, but those susceptible to more serious side effects generally include very old, young, or otherwise ill people. Chikungunya virus is spread via Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquito bites. It is also known to spread between rodents and birds. Often a chikungunya infection is mistaken for another infection such as Zika or even dengue. Once a person has been infected with the chikungunya virus they are believed to become immune in most cases.
Interesting Chikungunya Virus Facts:
Common symptoms of chikungunya infection include severe joint pain and fever.
Other symptoms of chikungunya infection can include, but are not always present, a rash, nausea, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.
The joint pain from a chikungunya infection can vary in severity and can last several months.
There is no known cure for chikungunya virus and treatment involves trying to alleviate the symptoms as much as possible and reduce pain.
The first sign of chikungunya infection usually involves a fever. Joint pain soon follows. In some cases the joint pain can last months or even years.
Complications of the chikungunya virus can include heart problems, eye issues, and neurological problems.
Some people will experience gastrointestinal complications as a result of the chikungunya virus.
The chikungunya virus has been found in more than 60 different countries including in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and in Asia.
The chikungunya virus is spread to humans from female mosquitos. The two species of mosquitos that spread the virus tend to bite during the day in most cases.
Once infected with the chikungunya virus symptoms appear usually in 4 to 8 days but they have been known to appear between 2 and 12 days following a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito.
A variety of tests can be used to confirm chikungunya virus infection including serological tests and virological tests.
The chikungunya virus can be detected in a person's blood in the first couple of days.
There are no specific drugs for treating chikungunya infection and there is no vaccine currently available.
Once infected with chikungunya virus the best treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms. Treating the joint pain can involve the use of fluids, anti-pyretics, and analgesics.
Because the risk of contracting the chikungunya virus is increased in the presence of the type of mosquitos that carry the virus, reducing risk involves reducing exposure to mosquitos. Some communities use insecticides and spray the air, while also placing these chemicals in areas where mosquitos breed.
People traveling to regions known to have chikungunya virus should ensure they keep their skin covered as much as possible and use bug spray. Screens on rooms and doors can also reduce the exposure to mosquitos.
There was a large outbreak of chikungunya infection in 1999-2000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in 2005 in the Indian Ocean islands.

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