Things You Should Know About the Chikungunya VirusMosquitoes are nasty little things. Besides their annoying buzz and itchy bites, they spread diseases like wildfire. One relatively common illness the Aedes mosquito carries is the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Here’s what you need to know to help prevent, identify, or treat it.

1. The Symptoms

Similar to dengue fever, patients typically present with a high fever, severe joint pain, intense headaches, muscle pain, back pain, nausea, extreme physical weakness, and a maculopapular or petchial rash. The maculopapular rash is characterised by a red area of skin covered with small bumps while purple or red spots caused by minor haemorrhaging indicate a petchial rash.

2. Incubation Period and Symptom Onset

Although the incubation period for the Chikungunya virus is anywhere between one and twelve days, symptoms usually start three to seven days after an individual has been bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people feel better after a few days, but there are cases where the patient has developed long-term joint pain.

3. How the Virus Is Treated

Unfortunately, there are no specific medications to treat the illness. However, a physician may prescribe pain relief medication or an anti-inflammatory to alleviate the intensity of the symptoms.

4. How to Avoid Infection

With no vaccine available, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Use a mosquito repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, make certain your window and door screens aren’t broken, and use an air conditioner when possible.

If you think you may have contracted the Chikungunya virus, confirm the diagnosis with your doctor. Since these symptoms are common for many illnesses, you need to make sure the cause isn’t something more serious.

Have you experienced the CHIKV virus? Are there any extra precautions you take to prevent mosquito bites? Share your tips with us in the comment section.

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