The name “Chikungunya” is derived from the makonde word, which means, “that which bends up” this is due to the fact that the affected person by this disease becomes stooped up as the joints are affected.
Chikungunya is a viral fever, which spreads through mosquito bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (the yellow fever mosquito). A research carried out by Pasteur institute claims that the virus has undergone mutation which enables it to be transmitted the Aedes alopictus mosquitoes also known as Asian tiger mosquito.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. CHIKV was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953. It has since been identified repeatedly in west, central and southern Africa and many areas of Asia, and has been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in those areas since that time.
The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be 2-12 days, but is usually 3-7 days. “Silent” CHIKV infections (infections without illness) do occur; but how commonly this happens is not yet known.
o The symptoms of Chikungunya include fever, which can last for a few days to few weeks. Sometimes the fever abruptly comes down.
o Body temperature can rise up to 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
o There are skin eruptions are petechial (Bluish red), or maculopapular in nature. The eruptions are mostly on the lower limbs and trunk.
o Multiple joints of the body get affected which are extremely painful and this can have debilitating effect on the body. It can also affect the posture of the body.
o The other complaints are intense headache; loss of sleep and marked weakness may stay for a period of 5-7 days.
o Redness and soreness of the eyes
o Photophobia -sensitivity of eyes on seeing bright objects
In India the only laboratory which is equipped to detect the viral infection and the viral load of Chikungunya is The National institute of virology located at Pune.If you suspect of have the symptoms of Chikungunya you should contact your Physician immediately. Normally, in Chikungunya, platelet counts fall to cause internal or external bleeding.
What can people do to prevent becoming infected with Chikungunya virus?
The best way to avoid CHIKV infection is to prevent mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available.
Homeopathic treatment – Homoeoprophylaxis
Homoeoprophylaxis is well rooted in classical homeopathic practice. Homeopathic medicines can be very useful during epidemics. The remedy that is selected on the symptoms that are characteristic during the epidemic is known as the Genus Epidemicus. This genus epidemicus when given to the people where there is an outbreak it will help the people in not contracting the epidemic disease.
In homeopathy there are medicines, which can be given as a prophylactic medicine (Homoeoprophylaxis) that will help the individual to prevent the disease when there is an outbreak of certain diseases. For e.g. If there are 2 children in a house and one is suffering from say Chicken pox in order to prevent the other child from getting the infection if he is given the indicated remedy he will not contract that disease.
The remedies that can be used as Preventive are
Rhus.tox, Bryonia, Eupatorium.perf, Ledum, Ferrum phos, Arnica.m, Apis.m. Please consult your Homeopath before taking the medicines as your Homeopath will be the right person to arrive at the remedy that will suit your constitution. Please do not self medicate.
Prevention tips are
o Use insect repellent
o Wear long sleeves and pants
o Have secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
o Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.
o Additionally, a person with Chikungunya fever or dengue should limit their exposure to mosquito bites in order to avoid further spreading the infection. The person should stay indoors or under a mosquito net.
Precaution in Diet during the Homeopathic treatment
As medicines get absorbed through the tongue the patient is advised to minimize or avoid raw onion, raw garlic, coffee, menthol, camphor or any strong smelling substances. These may act as antidotes to the homeopathic medicines.