Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The sudden spike in the number of of mosquito-borne illnesses, mainly chikungunya and dengue, has caused panic and concerns amongst reseidents in the national capital.
Till date, chikungunya, which was first reported in 1952, has claimed 12 lives in the national capital this season, prompting Union Health Minister J.P Nadda to seek a report from the Delhi Government on the rising deaths and number of patients.
Here are some facts to know about the chikungunya virus:
- Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans through mosquitoe bites.
- Chikungunya virus is spread to people by the Aedes species of mosquito, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus - the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite during the day and at night.
- As per CDC, chikungunya virus is transmitted rarely from mother to newborn around the time of birth. To date, no infants have been found to be infected with chikungunya virus through breastfeeding. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where chikungunya virus is circulating.
- Like dengue, symptoms of chikungunya include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash. That is why, it can be misdiagnosed as dengue. Chikungunya is likely to give rise to severe and prolonged joint pains, which is the most distinguished symptom of it from dengue.
- There is no specific treatment or drugs to cure chikungunya or dengue. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms, using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. The best way to prevent chikungunya is to protect yourself against mosquitoes bites.