Doctor's Notes on Chikungunya Virus Infection
Chikungunya virus infection is a mosquito-borne viral illness transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes). Signs and symptoms are similar in adults and children and may include the following: fever, joint pains, joint swelling, headache, muscle pain, skin rash and, infrequently, bleeding from the nose and/or gums. The joint pains can be severe and cause the person to walk in a stooped or bent posture. Although the disease usually lasts about 7-10 days, the joint pain may persist for months in some individuals.
The cause of Chikungunya virus infection starts when a virus-infected mosquito (a vector), while getting a blood meal during a bite, transfers the virus to a person. If an uninfected mosquito bites an infected person, then the mosquito becomes infected and a vector for the disease. Chikungunya virus infections are usually not spread person-to-person except in mother to newborn.
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Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Headache (Mild)Mild headaches and tension headaches are common but usually do not represent a serious illness. They result from irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. Symptoms of mild headache pain include aching, squeezing, or bandlike pain, on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the eyebrows. Treatment includes a variety of self-care measures and over-the-counter medications.
Is There Any Vaccine for Malaria?Malaria is a disease in which a person becomes infected through a mosquito bite. There currently is no malaria vaccine, although there are ongoing clinical trials to produce an effective malaria vaccine.
Joint PainJoint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection. Joint pain symptoms can be associated with local warmth, swelling, and tenderness. Treatment depends on the cause and can include rest, cold applications, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Rash (Causes, Types, and Cures)A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and allergic dermatitis. Types of infectious rashes include ringworm, impetigo, scabies, herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Rashes may be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Treatment depends upon the type of rash.
Skin Rashes in ChildrenSkin rashes in children may be categorized as bacterial, viral, life-threatening, fungal, and parasitic rashes. Oftentimes, the associated symptoms help establish the diagnosis. Treatment depends upon the type of rash and the severity of the signs and symptoms.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.