Chikungunya: A viral disease

Chikungunya, another arboviral disease, is now spreading explosively in Karachi. The causal agent of the disease, Chikungunya virus, is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The infection is generally symptomatic and characterised by an abrupt onset of fever followed by severe Polyarthralgia. Other common symptoms include rash, headache, nausea, fatigue and myalgia. Although the illness is self-limiting, joint pain can persist for months and even for years in some cases. Regrettably, no vaccines or specific antiviral has been approved for Chikungunya fever.
Basic precautions should be taken by people travelling to risk areas and these include use of repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering. Hence, this momentous issue must be addressed by national and international health-care organisations with haste.
Iram Shahnaz
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