By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published September 15, 2016, Last updated November 17, 2018
What is Chikungunya Fever
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to human beings by infected mosquitoes. The most common vector of chikungunya is the Aedes Egypti mosquito. Another species of mosquitoes namely Aedes Albopictus has also been found the culprit in some cases. Usually Chinkungunya is not life threatening.
Origin of Chikungunya
Chikungunya disease was first detected as recently as 1952 in Africa. This means that it is almost a new disease. The place where it was first detected was Makonde Plateau. In the Makonde language, chikungunya means something that is bent up. It was named so as the chikungunya patient almost bends up or stoops because of the joint pains.
Causes of Chikungunya fever
Chikungunya is primarily caused by the spread of the chikungunya virus through an infected mosquito. In some cases transmission of the disease from an infected pregnant mother to a newborn baby has also been seen. The Aedes Egypti and the Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes are the known vectors or transmission agents. They introduce the chikungunya virus into human beings when they bite. The Aedes Egypti is known to bite during the day time. Therefore it is very important from the prevention point of view that one takes care to avoid mosquitoes during the day time.
Incubation period of Chikungunya
The incubation period of chikungunya varies from 1-12 days. This means that it takes this much time for full fledged symptoms of chikungunya to show after the initial infection. Once a person has been infected through a mosquito bite, he or she is not going to fall ill instantly. It takes some time for the virus to replicate inside the human body. Once it reaches a critical mass, it stars showing its symptoms.
Symptoms of Chikungunya Fever
- The characteristic symptom of chikungunya is the sudden onset of high grade fever.
- There is pain in joints and muscles along with the fever. Joint pains are present on both sides of the body and are present in a symmetric manner. The pains can be quite severe and there is extreme weakness along with.
- Headache and fatigue are common.
- There may be redness of the eyes.
- A rash like eruption is also present in about half of the cases.
- Nausea and vomiting may also be seen in some cases.
- Although uncommon, mouth ulcers and loss of taste may also be present.
- The fever usually lasts about a week and in some cases it can go on for up to 10 days. The fever is often biphasic. It remains for a couple of days, gets better and then returns again.
- The joint pains may last for weeks or even months after the fever is over. In some cases, it has been known to last for years. Once infected, a person gains lifelong immunity from chikungunya.
Complications of Chikungunya fever
Young children, infants and old patients are at a higher risk of developing complications. The possible complications of chikungunya include uveitis, retinitis, myocarditis, nephritis, hepatitis, meningoencephalitis. Gullaine Barre syndrome and some cranial nerve palsies are also possible. It is rare for chkiungunya to result in a fatality.
Diagnosing Chikungunya Fever
The clinical presentation and the endemic presence of Chikungunya in the area can be a good pointer to the diagnosis of this problem. Laboratory findings include lymhopenia, thrombocytopenia, increased creatinine levels and liver enzymes. A definite laboratory diagnosis can be made through a RT-PCR test.
Treatment of Chikungunya fever
Since Chikungunya is a viral disease, allopathy has hardly any treatment for this. The usual symptomatic treatment of fever and joint pain is resorted to. Rest, plenty of fluids and pain killers are used to relieve joint pain. There is no specific allopathic medicine to cure the chikungunya infection.
Homeopathic treatment of Chikungunya fever
Homeopathic medicines for chikungunya fever treatment are much more effective than the allpathic medicines. That is because homeopathy never relies on individual antagonistic agents against a particular virus or bacteria. Homeopathy has always worked on the philosophy that the human body is perfectly endowed with all means to fight any and every infection provided the immune system of the body is working properly. Therefore homeopathic medicines just strengthen the immune system of the patient. A strong immune system is thus able to subdue the infectious virus on its own.
5 best Homeopathic medicines for chikungunya fever
Homeopathic medicines have been found to be very effective in treating and curing chikungunya fever. These homeopathic medicines for chikungunya fever are based on the symptoms that almost mimic the presentation of the chikungunya fever.
Here are the 5 best homeopathic medicines for chikungunya fever-
Arsenic Album – best medicine for chikungunya with restlesness
Belladonna – best remedy for chikungunya with severe headache
Rhus Tox- best treatment of chikungunya with soreness
Eupatorium Perfoliatum – best homeopathic medicine for chikungunya with bodyaches
Bryonia – best medicine for chikungunya with increased thirst
A brief description of the indicating symptoms of these medicines is being given below. It is advisable that one should not indulge in self medication. It is better to take the advice of an experienced homeopathic doctor.
1. Arsenic Album-One of the best homeopathic medicines for chikungunya with restlesness
When there is increased restlesness along with high grade fever and other symptoms, Arsenic Album is one of the best homeopathic medicines for chikungunya. The patient is anxious and restless. There is increased thirst though the patient is able to take only a sip at a time. Increased weakness is another guiding symptom for this remedy.
2. Belladonna-One of the best homeopathic medicines for Chikungunya with severe headache
When there is severe headache along with the fever, Belladonna is one of the best homeopathic medicines for Chikungunya. The headache may be throbbing in nature. The face may be red and hot.
3. Rhus Tox- One of the best homeopathic remedies for Chikungunya with soreness
When there is increased muscle soreness, Rhus Tox is one of the best homeopathic remedies for Chikungunya. There is physical restlesness in the patient and he is unable to find a comfortable place to rest.
4. Eupatorium Perfoliatum- One of the best homeopathic remedies for Chikungunya with bodyaches
When there are severe bodyaches deep in the bones, Eupatorium Perfoliatum is one of the best homeopathic remedies for Chikungunya. The pains seem to be so severe that the patient feels as if he has suffered a fracture.
5. Bryonia-One of the best homeopathic medicine for Chikungunya with increased thirst
When there is intense thirst and the patient feels like drinking a lot of water at one time, Bryonia is one of the best homeopathic medicine for Chikungunya fever. The pains in the joints and the body are so aggravated with the slightest movement that the patient always wants to remain still.