If you have been following the news, you would be aware of the rising number of chikungunya cases which are being reported mainly from Karachi and its surrounding areas. The disease came to Pakistan only recently owing to the climatic changes which have been seen in this region in the past decade.
It is a viral disease which originated in Africa in 1952 but it was only in the December of 2016 that the first case of Chikungunya was reported from Karachi to the WHO. Since then, over 1000 cases have been reported of people who suffer from this virus. Although preventive measures have been taken by the district and city councils to control the outbreak of the disease but the poor sanitary systems along with the warm climates is making it difficult to control the situation completely.
The disease is not fatal, except for the elderly, but if the treatment is delayed, then there are chances of the person developing permanent arthritis issues. The newborns affected with this disease can get permanently disabled in extreme cases. To make sure that the patient gets adequate help at the right time, it is important that you know how to recognize the symptoms on time. But this is not as simple as it may seem. Since the symptoms appear almost three to ten days after the person is bitten by the infected mosquito, there are possibilities that one might confuse or ignore them at first. So, which symptoms of chikungunya are commonly ignored that if taken into account would help with the early diagnosis of the disease?
Redness in the eye
Once the symptoms start appearing, it is common to see one or both the eyes go red. Most people often end up confusing it with conjunctivitis or an eye infection and do not pay attention to the fact that it could be a symptom of chikungunya. If you or your loved one has redness in the eye which comes without any reason, then do look for other symptoms before ruling out chikungunya.
Severe spells of headaches
A migraine and severe headache are one of the most reported symptoms of chikungunya. It may not be continuous but anything which is too frequent for your comfort should grab your attention.
Since chikungunya causes a high fever, people end up confusing the joint pain as its after effect. The joint pain, in this case, instead of subsiding keeps increasing as the days go by. If you happen to experience severe pain in your bones and joints in particular, then you might be suffering from chikungunya. It should require medical attention if you are above 65 years of age or suffer from bone health issues.
Along with joints, you will also experience extreme muscle pain which can often become unbearable at times. It would leave you in pain and tired beyond your comfort level. Consulting the doctor would help ease the pain as the doctor would prescribe the medicines needed to control the symptoms.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from two or more of the symptoms mentioned above and happen to notice a rash on your limbs, then it is advised to seek medical help at your earliest. These rashes may not be permanent and often come and go too frequently. So keep a lookout for any rash that you might see on the trunks or limbs.
How to deal with chickengunya?
Chikungunya causes a high fever which goes to around 103°C and 104°C at times. The best way to diagnose the virus is to seek medical help as soon as you realize that you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. In children, these symptoms are accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and meningeal symptoms. The virus can cause to be fatal for the aged people as it compromises their immune system and can cause a cerebral problem too. It is not contagious but once the symptoms start to show up, a visit to the doctor is important to diagnose the disease through proper tests. Meanwhile, take plenty of rest, stay hydrated and keep yourself and your loved ones covered all the time to prevent bites from infected mosquitoes.
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