What You Must Know about Chikungunya Disease

Chikungunya is a viral disease that attacks humans through the bite of Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. This mosquito acts as an intermediary or vector that is an organism that carries chikungunya virus in its body without getting infected. Both are the same type of mosquito that causes dengue fever.

Similar causes and symptoms cause chikungunya disease often to be misdiagnosed as dengue fever.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes live in tropical and subtropical regions, while Aedes (Ae.) Albopictus live in temperate and cooler regions. Both types of mosquitoes are commonly found mainly in the morning and evening.

Chikungunya case itself has been identified in about 60 countries located in Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.

People with Chikungunya in Indonesia

From Indonesia's health profile in 2014, there are reported Chikungunya Extra Events (KLB) in 8 districts / cities from 4 provinces in Indonesia. Based on Ministry of Health report in the same year, there are about 7300 cases of chikungunya without any death cases.

Chikungunya fever is still a frequent epidemic problem in the tropics and subtropics, including in Indonesia. The low immunity status of the population against the virus and the high number of mosquitoes as the vector of chikungunya virus are the supporting factors for the epidemic of this disease. Allegedly increasing the puddle of water as a breeding ground for mosquitoes when the rainy season also contributed.

Causes of Chikungunya: Mosquito Bites

Chikungunya virus can not spread directly from one person to another. The disease is caused by a virus that spreads through the bite of Ae.aegypti or Ae mosquitoes. albopictus, two types of mosquitoes that can also cause dengue virus. The chikungunya virus belongs to the alfavirus genes of the Togaviridae family found in tropical countries.

Generally these mosquitoes attack during the day, but the bite especially occurs in the early hours and the afternoon. You are more susceptible to attack while outdoors, although it is possible that the Ae mosquito. aegypti can also attack indoors.

Ae mosquito. aegypti more lives and breeds in places close to humans, especially indoors. Places commonly inhabited by mosquitoes are water reservoirs, bathtubs, to vases and flower pots filled with water. Ae mosquito. albopictus has more and more breeding grounds than Ae. aegypti. In addition to puddles in the former tires of vehicles, ponds, or potted plants, these mosquitoes can also breed in puddles that exist in tree holes, bamboo, and coconut shells.

Chikungunya symptoms

After being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus, the symptoms will begin to develop at 4-8 days, but can also start from 2-12 days after bite. The symptoms initially resemble flu symptoms.

  • Fever - starts suddenly; one of the main symptoms of chikungunya
  • Joint pain - its severity can inhibit the patient's body movements; these symptoms can last for weeks and are also a major symptom of chikungunya. These symptoms generally appear not long after the symptoms of fever begin to be felt.
  • Muscle pain
  • Cold
  • Headaches are unbearable
  • Rash or red spots all over the body
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

In some cases, the symptoms of joint pain will remain felt for several months, even years. Chikungunya symptoms are usually mild, so undetected or too felt by the sufferer. In areas with dengue fever cases, there are also a few cases of misdiagnosis between the two diseases.

In some rare cases, chikungunya complications, such as nervous, eye, heart, and gastrointestinal disorders may occur. Especially in the elderly, this disease can lead to death.

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