Many other states, including the national capital Delhi, have been hit by mosquito-borne illnesses – dengue and chikungunya – in the wake of monsoon.
In the past few days, there has been an unprecedented rise in the cases of chikungunya in Delhi, even as cases have also been reported from other states.
Symptoms and transmission
Chikungunya is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms of chikungunya virus infection include fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. While chikungunya disease does not often result in death, the symptoms can be severe, disabling and can last from weeks to months. Chikungunya, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (two species which also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue) can be mistaken for dengue because the symptoms are similar in both the cases. The mosquitoes that spread chikungunya are active during the day.
Since there’s no cure for the disease, it’s important to recognise the symptoms early and treat them. If you feel sick and think you may have chikungunya-
Talk to your doctor to seek medical help
Get lots of rest
Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
Use acetaminophen or paracetamol to treat fever and pain
The best way to prevent chikungunya virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Here’s how you can protect yourself from mosquito bites-
Keep your surrounding areas clean to avoid mosquito breeding
Help reduce mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels
Sleep under a mosquito net
Use insect-repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol that provide long-lasting protection
Wear long, protective clothing to avoid mosquito bites