Chikungunya, an alphavirus type of viral disease, first broke out in South Tanzania in 1952. The name “Chikungunya” comes from the Swahili language, based on the position of the patient’s body bending or curving due to severe joint pain.
The main symptom is fever followed by joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle aches, headache, nausea, fatigue and skin rash. Joint pain experienced is usually severe, can last several days or even weeks. In some cases it can last up to several months or even years.
It is spread by the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The incubation period for the disease varies between 4-8 days or 2-12 days. Laboratory tests can use IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibody is highest in 3-5 weeks after disease onset and lasts up to 2 months.
There is no specific antiviral treatment for chikungunya, the main therapy for treating the symptoms, including joint pain is by using painkillers (analgesics), fever-reducing and intravenous fluids, and there is still no vaccine for chikungunya.
Source: Who.int; IAMAT.org;