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Jamaica Health Tips Blog

August 2014

Chikungunya (Chik)


Chikungunya is a viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pains. It is spread to human by bite of an infected mosquito. The aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread or pass on this virus. This type of mosquito also spreads the dengue virus.
 
Symptoms
The most common symptoms are fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands, wrist and ankles. Prolong effects includes Arthritis and disabling joints pains. In some cases, joints pains can last for several months and even years. Other symptoms include headache, backache, muscles pain, nausea, fatigue and rash.

Treatment
There are no medicines to specifically treat chikungunya or vaccine; however pain killers can be taken to reduce the symptoms. It is paramount to note that only paracetamol pain killersshould be taken. Other pain killers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen and other anti-flammmatory drugs are not recommended as they may increase risk of bleeding.

Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes which spread Chikunyunga bites during the daytime so;
  •  Wear light coloured clothing and cover your body as much as possible.
  •  Use mosquito repellents containing DEET on exposed skin. 
  •  Use mosquito coils and electric vaporization maths both in the day and night.
  •  Use mosquito nets · 
  •  Screen (mesh) your windows and doors.

Prevent Mosquito Breeding
The aedes mosquito breeds and lives in standing water in and around the home hence do your part to prevent them from breeding.

  •  Cover all open containers such as your drums, tanks, barrels, buckets.
  •  Get rid of all old tyres, tins bottles, plastic containers, coconut shells and anything in which rain water settles.
  •  Cover trash, punch holes in tins before placing them in garbage.
  •  Keep house plants in damp soil and avoid over watering plants.
  •  Empty and wash pets water containers as twice weekly.
  •  Debush over grown vegetation on your premises as frequently as possible.

N:B see your doctor immediately if you think you or a family member might have chikungunya 
Source: MOH brochure
Do you have measures in place to protect yourself and your family from Chikungunya?