Chikungunya is caused due to a viral infection (CHIKV) and is transmitted when an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito carries the virus from an infected human to a healthy person. The mosquitoes mostly attack during the day and are commonly seen breeding around clean water bodies. Once bitten, the patient will experience symptoms such as arthritis like pain around the joints, muscle aches, fever, malaise, headache, fatigue, nausea and in some cases vomiting within approximately two to 22 days.
Chikungunya is a self-resolving disease. It gradually decreases in intensity in about a week after infection. But some people may experience arthritic pain and fatigue for a few weeks to a year after it has resolved. In very old and ailing patients and in individuals with a weak immune system, the disease can result in death.
Warning signs and symptoms of chikungunya in detail
Joint and muscle pain:
While muscle pain is also seen in people suffering from dengue, chikungunya causes arthritis-like pain in the joints
, especially of the hands and legs. In some cases, it can also cause swelling in the joints. The joint pain can last for few weeks to a year.
Another common symptom of chikungunya is severe headache
, which usually starts off during the first few days after an infection with the virus. If you have high fever and severe headache along with joint pain for more than two days, consult your doctor immediately.
Tender lymph nodes:
Not many people known that swelling of the lymph nodes
could indicate chikungunya. The lymph nodes are present on either side of the neck, under the jaw and behind the ears. Hence, swellings in these regions should not be ignored!
One of the most common symptoms of chikungunya is feeling of extreme fatigue or malaise (feeling of uneasiness or discomfort). It is quite common if you have high fever and severe joint pain
, but consult your doctor if the condition worsens.
In some cases, skin rashes
also start to appear, which is seen once you get high fever. It generally occurs as red spots with small bumps on the skin, which can also appear on the palm, face and torso. Consult your doctor about the same.
Nausea and vomiting:
Nausea and vomiting, extreme weakness and lack of appetite may be due to an underlying infection. So if you have high fever and severe joint pain and mosquitoes breed in your area, it is advised to get tested for chikungunya
High grade fever:
In the case of chikungunya, your body temperature increases to 102 – 104 degrees. If high fever fails to subside within three days then consult your doctor as in the case of chikungunya, it lasts for more than a week.
Although chikungunya has no known complications it can cause death in very old and ailing patients. If you do think you might have the condition it is extremely important to get diagnosed early, since the symptoms overlap with conditions that have serious complications like dengue and malaria