Chikungunya : Information from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life

  • Posted 03 Mar 2006
Chikungunya : Information from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life

1. What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya is a disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus. The vector mosquito is a day-biter called \'Aedes Albopictus\'.

2. How is Chikungunya transmitted?
The disease is transmitted during the day, when the mosquito bites someone infected by Chikungunya and then contaminates other persons who are bitten in turn.

3. Is human to human transmission possible in the disease?
No there is no direct transmission. A person who is infected by Chikungunya is not contagious.

4. What are the signs and symptoms for the disease?
The symptoms generally appear 4 to 7 days after having been bitten by the mosquito. They are:

- High fever that can go up to 39ºC.
- Muscular and joints; pain, mainly affecting the extremities of limbs.
- Swelling.
- Skin manifestations.
- Headache.

5. Is there any treatment for the disease?
There exists neither a vaccine nor a specific treatment against Chikungunya for the time being. The only treatment is to take medicine to soothe symptoms such as fever and pain.

6. How to prevent Chikungunya?
Prevention is possible by controlling proliferation of mosquitoes in stagnant water. You need to avoid water retention by:

- Eliminating any still water found on roofs
- Seeing to it that water pipes are not clogged
- Properly covering all water tanks so that mosquitoes cannot get in
- Getting rid of any container capable of retaining water in your outdoor surroundings (used tyres, food cans, garbage, saucers under flower pots, etc)
- Renew water in flower vases at least once a week

Other precautions:

- Wear clothes that suitably cover arms and legs
- Make use of mosquito nets
- Use mosquito repellent products (coils, sprays, topical lotions and creams)

7. What should be done in case of manifestation of symptoms?
Head straight to your nearest Health Centre.

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