Chikingunya is a virus which is spread by a mosquito known as the “Aedes Aegypti”. Chigungunya is also known in Mauritius as “chik” or “chikun”.
The first epidemic of chikungunya was discovered in Africa, Tanzania, in 1952.
In Mauritius it was a real problem and a lot of people were infected during 2005 and 2006.
Chikungunya is a virus found especially in warm and tropical countries and mainly during summer season.
The mosquito is usually a day-bitter mosquito which has the virus of chikungunya in itself and when you are bitten from one of them you will be infected by the disease of chikungunya.
Usually the virus of chikungunya is transmitted to human beings by the mosquito during day time.
When the Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites a person infected of chikungunya, it gets infected itself and when it bites another person who is in good health, the person will be also infected with the virus.
Human to human transmission
Until now the transmission of chikungunya can not be made from human to human, so it is not considered as a contagious virus.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
- If a person has been bitten by a mosquito that was infected by the chikungunya virus, the symptoms usually appears after four to seven days after having been bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms a person start getting is high fever which can reach 39°C, headache, joint pains, insomnia, muscular pains, swelling and skin manifestations. The fever generally last around two to three days and then comes down. There are some persons who feel themselves very weak, they even can not move from the bed or feed themselves. So if you are having all these symptoms you better go to a doctor to make a blood test.
- Until now there has been no specific treatment or vaccination found against the chikungunya virus.
The only treatment which is given to the patients is medicine as anti-inflammatory drugs against fever and pain.
- There are some precautions that can be taken to control the proliferation of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito as avoiding water retention in different areas as on ceiling and house roofs, always check water pipes that they are not clogged, always cover water tanks not to let mosquito enter inside, not forget to renew the water in the flower vases once to twice a week, throwing away all recipients that may retain water unnecessarily as food cans, old vehicles tyres and garbage. Some precautions that can be taken for persons are: use repellent creams for your body use sprays and coils at home, use mosquito nets for protection and try wear clothing that cover arms and legs.