Chikungunya Fever: A Vector Borne Morbid Disease

Mirza Md. Ziaul Islam1, Mir Mohammad Yusuf Pavel2, Md. Kamruzzaman2, Shaoli Sarkar1

The term “Chikungunya” often refers to both the virus (CHIKV) and the illness or
fever (CHIKF) caused by this virus. Chikungunya is an arthropod-borne self-remitting
febrile viral illness viral disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). First
described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952, the virus derives its
name from the Makonde language and means “to become contorted” or “that which
bends up.” The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and zika, and can be
misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. The proximity of mosquito breeding
sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. The disease
mostly occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. However a major outbreak
in 2015 affected several countries of the Region of the Americas. The median incubation
period is 2 to 4 days. Vertical transmission of disease from mother to child has also
been documented. Clinical manifestations are very variable, from asymptomatic illness
to severe debilitating disease. Children are among the group at maximum risk for
severe manifestations of the disease and some clinical features in this group are
distinct from those seen in adults. Common clinical features include: abrupt onset
high grade fever, skin rashes, minor hemorrhagic manifestations, arthralgia/ arthritis,
lymphadenopathy, conjunctival injection, swelling of eyelids and pharyngitis. Unusual
clinical features include: neurological manifestations including seizures, altered level
of consciousness, blindness due to retrobulbar neuritis and acute flaccid paralysis.
Watery stools may be seen in infants. There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is
focused on relieving the symptoms. Treatment is symptomatic. Generally nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs are avoided. Paracetamol may be used for pain
and fever. However, NSAIDS may be required for relief of severe arthralgia during
convalescent phase.
Key Words: Chikungunya; virus; arthropod-borne; self-remitting

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