Chikungunya fever

    • Brief

    • Chikungunya fever is a virus infection that is spread by the Aedes mosquito and that can lead to severe illness. Chikungunya fever mostly occurs in the tropics of Africa and Asia. Symptoms usually appear within a week of the infection, including fever, joint pains, muscle pains, and headaches.

      There are no specific treatments for Chikungunya fever, but your healthcare provider will recommend medicines to control the symptoms. Preventing dehydration and watchful waiting are the usually practices.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • The symptoms of chikungunya include:

      • Abrupt onset of fever.
      • Pain in the lower back.
      • Joint pain and swelling.
      • Rash on the limbs and face.
      • Headache.
      • Chills and fever.
    • What are the causes?

    • You can get infected with the Chikungunya virus when an infected mosquito bites you.

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • You have a greater risk of developing Chikungunya if you:

      • Live in or travel to areas where chikungunya fever is common.
      • Spend a lot of time outdoors during the day.
      • Have a pre-existing condition such as hypertension and diabetes.
      • Are over 65 years old.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • If you have developed any symptoms that point to chikungunya, see your healthcare provider immediately, especially if you have recently visited an area with known cases of chikungunya.

    • How to prevent?

    • You can get infected with the Chikungunya virus through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya virus infections. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by sleeping under long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs are available at health centres in Nigeria), spray inside of your house with a residual insecticide and wear clothes that cover your body.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Selfcare tips

      If you have chikungunya fever, you can do the following to help relieve your symptoms:

      • Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
      • Take pain relievers (e.g. paracetamol) to ease fever and joint pain. You should not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin since they can cause bleeding.
      • Get plenty of rest.

      Medical treatment

      There is no treatment for chikungunya fever. Your healthcare provider can only prescribe medications to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy to relieve pain in your joints.

    • Kulawa cares

    • Always sleep under long-lasting insecticide-treated nets or use insecticides indoors to control mosquitoes. Ensure that you cover water storage in the house or get rid of puddles of stagnant water to prevent the mosquitoes from laying eggs in them.

      If you are infected with chikungunya fever, pain relief treatment usually does not relieve symptoms immediately. You will need to patiently cooperate with your healthcare provider as they support you back to good health.