A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed eight chikungunya cases in Mumbai, its health officials said all of them are stable and recuperating. The executive health officer, Dr Padmaja Keskar, told My Medical Mantra that there is no need to panic and that they are monitoring the situation.
Like dengue, chikungunya too is spread by aedes aegypti mosquito. “We are seeing chikungunya patients coming with high fever and severe mobility problem because of stiffness in joints. These cases are sporadic though,” said Dr Vasant Nagvekar, head of the infectious disease department, Global hospital.
According to the corporation, all the four confirmed cases have been reported from Dadar, Mahim and Mankhurd in the first 12 days of October. The other probable cases have been identified by private physicians from Byculla, Tardeo, Girgaum and nearby areas.
“In chikungunya infection, the person will experience severe joint pain. The virus might remain invisible for initial five days of onset of the disease. It may remain in the blood for three months or more,” said Dr Khusrav Bajan, intensivist at PD Hinduja hospital, intensivist, PD Hinduja hospital.
Doctors say that illness is often acute and lasts for 3 to 5 days. In few cases, the illness can last up to 10 days or more. They said that unlike Delhi, which is seeing a high number of chikungunya cases, in Mumbai dengue remain a cause of concern. “We have many patients coming with chikungunya symptoms, but are turning negative in the test. We are seeing more dengue cases where the symptoms include low platelet count, acute respiratory distress syndrome, affects kidney too,” said Dr Mandar Kubal, Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Care, Chembur.
While in Delhi, the doctors have seen co-existence of dengue and chikungunya, doctors in Mumbai said they are yet to see such cases. “Though both dengue and chikungunya are cause by same mosquito, we are yet to see co-infection,” said Nagvekar.
What is Chikungunya?
It is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti is the mosquito which is the carrier of the virus. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952.
- Fever, headache, nausea, joint and muscle pain, rashes.
- Rashes that look like measles can appear on 2nd and 5th day of onset of the infection
Period of illness
Illness is often acute and lasts for 3 to 5 days. In few cases, the illness can last up to 10 days or more.
How to treat chikungunya?
There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya infection or medicine to treat it. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
Get plenty of rest
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
Take medicine such as acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain
Consult your doctor if you are taking medicine for another medical condition