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Dengue and Chikungunya: Everything you should know about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

  • Posted on- Sep 22, 2016
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Written by site author.

Chikungunya


Chikungunya is a viral infection spread by the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito. The previous chikungunya outbreak in India happened in 2006 where in excess of 1,500,000 cases were reported resulting in several deaths.

  • Symptoms of a chikungunya infection appear between 4-7 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito.
  • Warning signs include high fever (102-104°F), joint swelling and pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or fingers), rash, headache, nausea and fatigue.
  • The fever lasts for two to three days, sometimes more but the virus remains in the human body for up to a week. Mosquitoes biting a sick person during this period can spread disease to others around them.
  • Chikungunya rarely kills, and most deaths occur in older people with existing diseases.
  • Chikungunya can be detected using serological tests which will look for antibodies in your blood.
  • Unlike chikungunya, recovery from an infection will give life-long immunity.

Diagnosis of Chikungunya

In Delhi, the government has capped the cost of the confirmatory RT-PCR (Reverse Transcryptase–Polymerase Chain Reaction) test at Rs 1,500 at both public and private labs.

When hospital administration becomes necessary

  • When are over 60 years old with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems, etc
  • When you develop blurry vision
  • When you have persistent vomiting, nausea
  • When you have difficulty breathing
  • When you develop drowsiness, hallucinations, delirium

Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for Chikungunya. Patients are treated for pain and fever.

Dengue


Dengue is a viral infection spread by the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito and does not spread directly from person to person.
  • Symptoms of a dengue infection start within five to six days after you’re bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • Fever lasts for seven to 10 days.
  • Symptoms include high fever (more than 103°F), severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, bleeding from the gums, nose or ears, and rash.
  • Most patients recover in a week to 10 days by taking paracetamol for fever and pain and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Diagnosis of Dengue

You need at least 2 diagnostic lab tests in order to identify dengue infection.
  • Confirmatory test: Get the NS1 Elisa-based antigen test done after three days of developing fever with symptoms of body ache, headache or nausea. The Delhi government has capped the cost of this test at Rs 650.
  • Platelets count: Platelets help the blood clot and stop bleeding. Very low levels – the normal range is between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per micro litre of blood – lead to internal bleeding and shock, which results in death from multi-organ failure. The cost is capped at Rs 50.

When hospital administration becomes necessary


Unfortunately, there’s no cure for dengue infection. Fever and pain is treated with paracetamol. Don’t use aspirin as it may aggravate bleeding. Platelet transfusion may be needed if platelets fall below 10,000 platelets per micro litre of blood.

How to protect yourself from dengue and chikungunya

  • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Use mosquito repellent sprays, creams, coils, mats or liquids to drive away mosquitoes and use screens on doors and windows.
  • Wear loose clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue infection, breeds in clean, fresh water in vases, tanks, birdbaths, fountains, old tyres, containers, potholes etc. Prevent mosquito breeding by drying out all containers at least once a week.

Comments

user profile image
13-12-2017 08:04 AM

Two weeks back, I was hit by the Dengue fever and it’s almost after some years, I was down with some serious fever and body ache that I have never experienced in my life earlier. I had my treatment done.

user profile image
18-01-2017 04:05 PM

I had suffered from Chikungunya which was caused by an infection. It is a self relieving disease.

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