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:
- joint pains,
- joint swelling,
- muscle pain,
- skin rash, and
- infrequently, bleeding from the nose and/or gums.
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 gets infected and becomes a vector for the disease. Chikungunya virus infections are usually not spread person to person except in mother to newborn.
What Are the Treatments for Chikungunya Infection?
There is no specific treatment or vaccine to treat this viral infection; most people improve on their own with symptoms decreasing over a week or so. Many doctors suggest the following:
Some individuals may have a difficult time with symptoms (newborns, age over 65, and people with hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease); they should contact their primary care doctor for further evaluation.
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Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.See Answer
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.