Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Both chikungunya and dengue are spread by the same aedes mosquitoes.
The incubation period of chikungunya fever is usually 3-7 days. The symptoms are very similar to that of dengue, but unlike dengue, hemorrhagic or shock syndrome does not take place with chikungunya fever.
The infected person may experience the following symptoms:
- muscle pain
- joint pain.
There are currently no medications or vaccines for the treatment of chikungunya fever. However lots of rest, a nutritious diet, plenty of fluids and mild pain medications may relieve symptoms of fever and body aches. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you are advised to see a doctor immediately.
Tips when travelling:
- Use insect repellent on exposed skin surfaces when outdoors, especially during the day.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Where possible, stay in accommodations that have secure screens on windows or air-conditioning to keep the mosquitoes out.
However if you still develop a fever, see a doctor immediately to test your blood for any signs of the chikungunya virus. If your blood test shows positive signs of the virus, stay indoors to limit mosquito bites in order to avoid further spread of the infection.At home, the prevention of chikungunya fever is similar to that of dengue fever. Clear any stagnant water in flower vases, flower pots, roof gutters and watering cans to prevent the breeding of its carrier, the Aedes mosquito.