More cases of chikungunya virus have been on the rise recently in the county of Mombasa.
You’ve probably heard about it in the news and wondered what it’s about or how it came by. The mosquito-borne virus is known to cause extreme joint pain, in addition to fever and headache.
Here are facts about the virus that you need to know
1. It’s transmitted via only one species of mosquito.
Humans contract the virus through mosquito bites, according to the World Health Organization. The Aedes species of mosquito, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, transmit the virus. These mosquitoes are active during the day, unlike other mosquitoes which operate at night.
2. Symptoms usually start three to seven days after the mosquito bite.
The symptoms can include a headache, joint swelling, rash and muscle pain, with fever and joint pain being the most common symptoms, according to the CDC.
3. There is no treatment or cure.
Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms and the best thing patients can do is rest, drink fluids and take pain-relieving and fever-reducing medicine like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
The disease mostly occurs in sections of Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent in areas close to the ocean. However, a major outbreak in 2015 affected several countries of the Region of the Americas.
5. The virus lasts five to seven days in most humans.
During this time period, mosquitoes who bite an infected person can then become infected with the virus, according to the World Health Organization.
6. Most patients fully recover within a short time.
The disease does not usually kill. Most people will feel better within a week, though some are never relieved of the debilitating joint pain.
7. The best way to protect yourself from chikungunya is to protect yourself against mosquitoes.
Take measures such as wearing long sleeves to protect your skin from bites and using insect repellent. And make sure to see a medical professional if you develop any symptoms consistent with chikungunya.
8. It has the same symptoms as Dengue Fever.
Just like Chikungunya, Dengue fever is caused by a virus, and there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it.