A viral disease ‘chikungunya’ is suspected of hitting Malir area of the city here and the very staff of Sindh Government Hospital Saudabad is hit by the suspected virus. After malaria and dengue, the people of Karachi are threatened by this new chikungunya virus.
According to details, 17 doctors, 31 paramedics, and eight sanitary workers were affected by the virus.
According to medical experts, chikungunya virus is transferred to blood when a mosquito bites carrying the virus. Some of the symptoms of chikungunya are high fever, excruciating body pain, tiredness, nausea, and reddish blemishes on the skin.
Medical experts also say that symptoms of chikungunya are similar to that of dengue; thus, many doctors incorrectly diagnose it as dengue.
According to World Health Organisation, there is neither any prevention for chikungunya nor any medication has been made for it as yet, and that there is no cure for the disease. No antibiotic medicine works during the fever, they added.
What is chikungunya
According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain.
Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration. There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya.
The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in a localised outbreak in north-eastern Italy, the website added.
Outbreaks have since been recorded in France and Croatia.
Most patients recover fully in two to three weeks, but in some cases, joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.
Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, the website says.
According to it, serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death.
Often symptoms in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognised, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs.
The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.
- Transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
- Causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
- Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration.
- Shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed as dengue in areas where dengue is common.
- There is no cure for the disease. Treatment relieves symptoms.
- The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya.
- The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent.