Chikungunya (also called as Chicken Guinea) is a form
of viral fever caused by an alphavirus that is spread by mosquito
bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, though recent research by
the Pasteur Institute in Paris claims the virus has suffered
a mutation that enables it to be transmitted by Aedes Albopictus
(Tiger mosquito). This was the cause of the actual plague in the
Indian Ocean and a threat to the mediterranean coast at present.
The name is derived from the Makonde word meaning "that
which bends up" in reference to the stooped posture developed
as a result of the arthritic symptoms of the disease.
Chikungunya - CAUSE
Alphavirus that is spread by mosquito bites from
the Aedes aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitos.
CHARACTERISTICS: Togaviridae (formerly group A arboviruses), genus
Alphavirus; spherical, enveloped virions 60 nm in diameter, single-stranded,
positive-sense RNA genome
PATHOGENICITY: Self limiting febrile viral disease; characterized
by arthralgia or arthritis typically in the knee, ankle and small
joints of the extremities, high fever, followed by a maculopapular
rash; buccal and palatal enanthema can occur; nausea and vomiting
may occur; mild hemorrhaging may be present especially in children;
inapperent infections are common, immunity is long lasting
EPIDEMIOLOGY: Found in Africa, India, south east Asia and the Philippines
HOST RANGE: Humans, primates, other mammals, birds
Chikungunya - SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The primary symptoms of Chikungunya include -
- Fever which can reach 39°C, (102.2 °F)
- A petechial or maculopapular rash usually involving
the limbs and trunk
- Arthralgia (bodyache) or arthritis affecting
multiple joints which can be debilitating. The joint pains can
be severe and even crippling.
There can also be headache, conjunctival infection and slight photophobia.
Fever typically lasts for two days and abruptly
comes down, however joint pain, intense headache,
insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration
lasts for a variable period, usually for about 5 to 7 days.
Dermatological manifestations observed in a recent
outbreak of Chikungunya fever in Southern India includes the following:
- Maculopapular rash
- Nasal blotchy erythema
- Freckle-like pigmentation over centro-facial area
- Flagellate pigmentation on face and extremities
- Lichenoid eruption and hyperpigmentation in photodistributed
- Multiple aphthous-like ulcers over scrotum, crural areas and
- Lympoedema in acral distribution (bilateral /unilateral)
- Multiple ecchymotic spots (Children)
- Vesiculobullous lesions (infants)
- Subungual hemorrhage
Chikungunya - HOW DIAGNOSIS IS DONE?
- Detection of antigens or antibody to the agent in the blood
- ELISA is available
- An IgM capture ELISA is necessary to distinguish the disease
from dengue fever.
Chikungunya - HOMEOPATHY TREATMENT & HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Homeopathy offers many medicines which may help in Chikungunya.
These include medicines like Eupatorium-perf, Pyroginum,
Rhus-tox, Cedron, Influenzinum, China, Arnica, Belladona,
Bryonia etc. Many homeopaths consider Eupatorium
perf. as a preventive medicine for Chikungunya. The most commonly
suggested potency as prophylaxis is 200C of Eupatorium perf. Eupatorium
Perfoliatum Q (tincture, 3 to 5 drop dose)will remove the debilitating
joint pains and cut short the intensity and duration of the disease.
Other potencies may be used according to the intensity of the case.
Chikungunya - CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT
No vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for chikungunya fever
is available. Treatment is symptomatic--rest, fluids, and ibuprofen,
naproxen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol may relieve symptoms of
fever and aching. Aspirin should be avoided
Infected persons should be protected from further mosquito exposure
(staying indoors and/or under a mosquito net during the first few
days of illness) so that they can't contribute to the transmission