Tuesday, 30 January 2018

What Are Symptoms of Chikungunya Fever?

Monday morning rush. Traffic jam. Sleepy baby. Late to work. In one line, a combustible combination!

On top of it, we needed to visit my kid’s paediatrician for his 11months’ vaccination. We were so chuffed about reaching the doc’s clinic at 8:30am, just in time for the appointment, hoping that the clinic would anyway be empty so 5 minutes here or there doesn’t make a difference. Lo & behold! The clinic was so full that people were spilling out. Don’t forget it is still 8:30a.m. On a Monday morning! Luckily we had an appointment so managed to get a wait time of just 10 minutes.  

I couldn’t help but ask the receptionist why there was this unimaginable crowd so early, and that’s when I realized that the menace is bigger than I imagined. 50% of the cases were of Chikungunya! How is this spreading so rapidly and what are we doing to protect our little ones from it? Do we know what are the symptoms of Chikungunya fever to be able to protect our children?

What are the Symptoms of Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  • The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue hence getting the right diagnosis is important.
  • If you feel there is an abrupt onset of fever, but also accompanied by joint pain. Most likely it is Chikungunya.
Other symptoms of Chikungunya are:
  • Muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • Joint pain is extremely draining and can vary in duration from person to person.

Chikungunya Treatment

Medicines do not really cure the disease; hence the treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

Preventing Chikungunya

The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes.
The mosquitoes that spread chikungunya bite during the daytime, hence ensure that you wear long-sleeve shirts, full length pants especially when you are outdoors.
  • Use a good mosquito repellent. I found the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On very effective as it has to be applied in little quality (just 4 dots), that too on fabric, and not directly on the skin. This is hence safe for children as well. The fragrance is also mild, hence does not irritate. 
  • Air Conditioned rooms usually have lesser mosquitoes.
  • Use a bed net even if you are using a mosquito repellent.
  • Be vary of stagnant water in homes as mosquitoes find this a good breeding ground. If you are wondering where could there be water accumulated in your home, think twice. If any washroom is less used, the water in the WC becomes a breeding ground. Keeping the lid closed is a good way to avoid mosquitoes from breeding there. The kitchen is another favourite area for mosquitoes to breed. The fridge tray or the AC tray are also areas which accumulate water.
  • If you take your baby out for walks in a stroller, ensure that the pram is covered with a net.

Lot of people use mosquito repellents only when they step out in the evening. The mosquito that carries chikungunya virus bites primarily during the daytime, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas. This is the reason why I use Goodknight’s Mosquito repellent on Baby V even when we step out during the day for our dose of Vitamin D. 

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