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Chikungunya - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Chikungunya in Urdu

چکن گونیا وائرس کی وجہ سے ہونی والی ایک بیماری ہے جو کہ ایک خاص قسم کے مچھر کے کاٹنے سے پھیلتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی علامات میں تیز بخار، جوڑوں میں درد اور جسم پر خارش اور الرجی شامل ہیں۔ تاحال اس بیماری کی کوئی وجہ دریافت نہیں ہو سکی ہے۔ اگرچہ چند دنوں میں بخار میں کمی واقع ہونے لگتی ہے لیکن جوڑوں کا درد کافی عرصے تک رہ سکتا ہے۔ جسم کے چھوٹے جوڑ جیسا کہ کلائیاں اور انگلیاں برے جوڑوں کی نسبت پہلے متاثر ہوتے ہیں۔ 

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Summary about Chikungunya in English

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. It was first identified in 1952 when it broke out in southern Tanzania. The virus that causes it is an RNA virus from Togaviridae family’s alphavirus genus. The term ‘chikungunya’ is a derivative that means ‘to become contorted’ in the Kimakonde language. It refers to how the people infected by it appear to be stooped down because of the pain in their joints.

Chikungunya virus is primarily transmitted through the infected Aedes mosquito's sting. The same type of mosquitoes is also responsible for transmitting the dengue virus as well. Their breeding place is near where humans live and their preferred feeding time is during the day in areas where there is ample shade or during early night.

While Chikungunya will not be fatal for a clear majority of the time, the symptoms are still not at all present and greatly impair the functionality of the individual.


Symptoms of Chikungunya

The majority of the people that acquire the chikungunya virus will go on to show some symptoms that appear around 3 to 7 days after the infectious mosquito bite. These include:

  • High fever
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Rashes appearing

Although a majority of the patients will not get better in just one week, there is a high likelihood that they would continue to experience pain in their joints for months. Furthermore, getting infected even once ensures immunity against further chances of infection.

Risk Factors of Chikungunya

Infected female mosquitoes' bites are the primary transmitter of this virus. The times when mosquitoes of this origin tend to be most active is during the day and are active in warmer places. So, risk factors would include the place of residence that is warmer. Those individuals who live or work in close vicinity to garbage sites and stagnant water are at a higher risk. Furthermore, farmers and those who work on farms were at the highest risk for contracting this chikungunya.

Furthermore, there is a higher chance of acquiring the infection for various population groups. These groups include newborn infants and elderly people. Those people who have issues like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease are at a higher risk as well.

Preventive Measures of Chikungunya

It is not necessary to implement severe preventive measures. However, it is imperative to implement ways in which mosquito bites could be avoided. It is especially necessary in cases of children or any other vulnerable, ill persons. It is important to keep track of both individual protection and the management of mosquitoes in order to contain this disease.

Wearing loose fitted and have longer sleeved clothes can ensure individual protection. It would also include the wearing of muscle repellent. Installing meshes into windows can also potentially halt entry of mosquitoes into the rooms.

Environmental management of mosquitoes would include the covering up of any tanks or containers that might have stagnant water as still, clean water is a welcome breeding place for them.

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