Article by Dr. Sonica KrishanOver the past few years, we have witnessed a surprisingly sudden spread of Chikungunya. It is for this reason that it becomes all the more necessary and significant to be aware about the onset of this health problem, along with its symptoms as well as the methods of cure.
Not So Simple
- First we need to understand that Chikungunya is not just simply another viral illness which is caused by an infected mosquito’s bite.
- Rather, this particular infection is somehow more solemn and yet disturbing.
- Although the Chikungunya infection is rarely life threatening.
What Happens When You Catch Chikungunya Infection?
- During the first week of infection, chikungunya virus can be found in the blood.
- The virus that causes Chikungunya reside at the major joints such as elbow, wrist, knee and ankle. They produce toxins and affect the immune mechanism.
- This further lead to muscular and joint pains accompanied by fever.
- The cartilages also get affected and cause joint inflammation.
- Moreover, an infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
- Generally you could experience signs and symptoms comprising fever and joint pains.
How Does Chikungunya Infection Spread?
Chikungunya infection does not spread by touch. This is basically an infection caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). This particular virus is present in the blood after the person is bitten by the carrier mosquito.
This Is What Happens
When this blood which is already infected is once again sucked by another mosquito, the Chikungunya virus is then passed from an infected person to another individual through mosquito bites. This is how the infection spreads and this generally happens in the first week of catching the infection. Chikungunya virus is then transmitted to more people through mosquito bites.
Watch These Indications
The Chikungunya infection is usually accompanied by several complications. Keep a check on your health condition if you come across some peculiar signs and symptoms. These could be like –
- Relatively high body temperature, headache, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes along with severe inflammation and discomfort in the joints.
- It is also believed that this inflammation is basically our immune system’s natural response to the infection, in order to take control of the situation and prevent any further damage.
- Many times if suffering from the Chikungunya infection, you may experience severe muscle pains, joint pains, fever as well as rash.
- Yet, the same is what remains most prominent and painful among the ones who get infected, something that seems to take the longest time to go away.
- Besides, the virus is often also accompanied by severe weakness in the body.
Awareness Is Necessary
Therefore, if you happen to be suffering from any or combination of the above mentioned symptoms, you need to get yourself tested against the possible mosquito borne infection.
- In case the results are positive, you need to keep calm and not fret on the physical condition.
- Also, do Bear in mind that it is important to begin with the treatment, as soon as the infection is detected, before it becomes troublesome.
- This is because in this case it could limit our body movements and render us incapable of carrying out the day to day activities.
- Plenty of rest is needed and is actually good for you.
Precautions And Understanding
Please understand that as such, there is no sure-shot vaccination or particular cure for this viral infection. Yet, this is also the time when you need to take care and practice some precautions for the same.
- You can only remain cautious, and as far as possible, keep yourself from being bitten by the infected mosquitoes.
- Also, take care to keep yourself hydrated all through. For this, you would need to drink good amount of fluids so as to save yourself from dehydration.
More Care Is Needed
Please note that it is not sufficient to rely solely on the symptoms, and therefore, a blood test is usually required in order to confirm the infection and begin with the treatment. Apart from rest and increased fluid intake, the patient is usually recommended few OTC medications like Paracetamol, which could help reduce fever and pain, thus providing some relief from this debilitating disease.
- It is believed that – “Prevention is always better than cure!” You need to be cautious in providing yourself and your loved ones with the goodness of Chikungunya prevention.
- For aiming to prevent Chikungunya infection, it is essential to consider about controlling mosquitoes both indoors as well as outdoors.
- Try to minimize skin exposure as much as possible so as to keep away from the undesirable mosquito bite. For this purpose, you could keep your bare body parts in stringent fabric covering. Or else you may take to some mosquito repellent options.
Herbal Support Helps
- Nevertheless, herbal support matters. Actually, there are few options which allow recovering from Chikungunya infection the natural way.
- These include a variety of natural herbs and herbal ingredients which could be included both for internal as well as external application.
- The most recommended are leaves of the Papaya tree, lahsun or garlic, coconut oil, raisins, ajwain or the carom seeds, dalchini (cinnamon), green leafy vegetables and haridra or turmeric, among others.
The Generous Ginger
However, one of the most effective options to relieve and treat Chikungunya is the use of Adrak or Ginger, having the Latin name as Zingiber officinales. This herb is packed to the brim with varied health benefits. Studies indicate that ginger primarily inhibits the production of inflammation causing compounds known as Prostaglandins in our body.
How this Helps?
Gingerols, the active constituent of this herb are especially effective in fighting the pain and swelling associated with Chikungunya infection. That is, in fact, what makes this particular herb quite effective at providing relief from the swelling associated with the infection.
Moreover the potent analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties that the herb of Ginger holds, tend to provide immediate and direct relief upon consumption. Also, this all-natural source of medication is far from any side effects and does only good, while dealing with the Chikungunya infection.
This is Researched
Researches state that Ginger (Zingiber officinales) is highly effective remedy to treat the pain and health troubles resulting due to Chikungunya virus infection. It has been supported with some facts.
- Ginger provides analgesic effect that helps you treat the condition without side effects.
- Also, as the herb of Ginger acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-emetic agent, it helps to minimize the inflammation resulting due to the Chikungunya viral infection.
How Much Ginger To Consume?
There are various ways we can make the most use of this herb in order to gain speedy and long term relief. These would not only alleviate the symptoms but also help accelerate the overall process of recovery. Here are a few suggestions for the same –
- Fix yourself a nice, warm cup of ginger tea by taking some fresh ginger slices and steeping them in a mug full of hot water. If possible, allow the water to boil, and then let it simmer for a while. Sip on this deliciously comforting herbal tea some two to three times a day.
- Ginger extract, such as the ginger oil, is also good when used topically on the painful joints. You may use it to gently massage the affected area some twice or thrice a day. It helps to improve the circulation of blood around the swelling and provides relief from pain.
- Besides, ginger supplements are also available for those who are unable to consume ginger in the fresh form.
Other Natural Remedies To Treat Chikungunya
However, the traditional systems of medication recommend natural herbal support in order to fight the signs of the infection which relates to mosquito bite.
- Apart from these, the individuals who are suffering from the exhausting ailment of Chikungunya may also try getting massage on the sore and affected joints.
- Make use of some cold compresses in order to ease the inflammation and get some relief.
- You could also try Epsom salt soaks every once in a while. This salt contains crystals of magnesium sulphate that helps reduce both the inflammation as well as pain that is experienced by those suffering from the ailment of Chikungunya.
- Also besides Ginger, other herbs like tulsi (Holy Basil), ashwagandha and aloe vera may be taken to further prevent the spread of the disease. Either of these herbs could also be pounded and the juice thus extracted can be taken even though it may seem bitter. These natural herbals not only increase the platelet count but also upturn the overall immunity of the body.
- Barley, pomegranate and vegetable soups should be made a part of the diet as they help detoxify the liver.
- Grapes may be taken with a glassful of cow’s milk. This could help proving support in the painful and weakening health condition.
- One thing that you need to keep in mind is this. Plenty of fluids are as important to keep the body hydrated for those down with fever. So, in any ways drink more water all through the time when you are suffering from Chikungunya infection and fighting fever.