What Is The Chikungunya Virus?

In the last 5 years, a number of new diseases have made way into the human race. These diseases have left the doctors around the world puzzled. Chikungunya is one such disease that made news in the Indian subcontinent and Africa an year back. Cases of Chikungunya are still found in countries like India and Srilanka. The Chikungunya virus is transmitted to a person by a mosquito bite. The virus belongs to the genus Alphavirus that comes from the Togaviridae family.

Chikungunya fever is often fatal and there is no particular cure for it. Although doctors around the world have witnessed some success in cases of people suffering from Chikungunya but once the fever reaches the advanced stages there is not much the doctors can do. The virus first made an appearance in 1952 in Africa and then appeared again in 1999 when it hit the Indian subcontinent and some parts of Africa. The virus confused the doctors and doctors started giving Dengue and Malaria treatments to their patients.

When these treatments did not work and the cases continued to multiply, the doctors realized that it was a different kind of a virus. Only later did they realize that the virus had existed in the past and is named Chikungunya. As the old saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’!

This is indeed true and one needs to stay away from mosquitoes. Parts of Asia and Africa have different breeds of infected mosquitoes and the fever starts spreading from small villages to big cities. It is therefore important to take proper steps to keep the mosquitoes away. Chikungunya is a virus similar to the O’nyong’nyong virus.

The O’nyong’nyong virus hit the residents of Africa way back in the late fifties. The symptoms of both diseases are similar and the unfortunate fact that there is no specific vaccine to cure both viruses still haunts the human race. Chikungunya is an advanced level of fever. Doctors often consider it similar to brain fever and the person suffers a lot. He might not get rid of the fever for days together.

In the later stages, there is a risk of person slipping into coma as well. However if the disease is detected in its earlier stages, it can be cured easily but if a person keeps ignoring it, he might have to suffer a lot. Hence it is recommended that you visit your doctor at regular intervals of time so that you stay on the safe side.


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