What is Chikungunya
Chikungunya has become the principal jolt in the world at present. After dengue and SARS, now Chikungunya has shocked people of the world. At some places, Chikungunya is called Chicken Guinea. Actually this is misunderstanding, as Chikungunya has no relationship with chicken.
The condition known as sandhi jwara in Sanskrit has the similar symptoms to chikungunya. Sandhi jwara which means 'pain in joints' and this is one of the primary symptoms of chikungunya.
Causes of Chikungunya
The main cause of spread of Chikungunya is stagnated water. The aedes aegypti mosquito lays its eggs only in stagnated water.
Ayurveda treats Chikungunya as a vata dosha disorder. Vata is the air component of our body, which represents the air that we breathe and the dissolved gases in our blood. In a healthy person there is a proper balance of the vata dosha with the other two doshas, pitta dosha and kapha dosha. But when this balance loses then disease conditions may start. Chikungunya is such a disease which is caused due to the lessening of the vata dosha.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
Chikungunya symptoms start soon after the viral infection. Some of the symptoms are:-
- Fever with very high temperature about 102.2 °F
- Severe pain all over the body
- Sharp pain in the joints along with inflammation
- Severe head ache
- abundant rashes
- Loss of taste
- Mouth ulcers
Complications due to Chikungunya
The alpha virus itself is not responsible for majority of the deaths caused due to chickun gunya. The Chikungunya virus destroys the resistance system of the body which exacerbates any underlying medical condition. This complication leads to the death of the patient.
Chikungunya can have problems in elderly people. As their body resistance is already weak, Chikungunya in them may cause cerebral complications like dementia and paralysis and kidney disorders. Similarly, Chikungunya is more critical in children than adults. The reason is that children are not able to identify the symptoms exactly and it may become late, when the disease is actually diagnosed.
Transmission of Chikungunya
If the aedes aegypti mosquito bites an infected person, then the virus gets transferred into its body. The virus does not affect the mosquito itself; but on the contrary, the mosquito aids the virus to become stronger within its body. Now when the mosquito bites a healthy person, the strengthened virus is now transferred into the body of that person. This mosquito normally bites people during dawn or dusk
Prevention of Chikungunya
The following strategy must be strictly followed to prevent Chickun gunya:
- Stagnant water must be treated and removed.
- If there is a spread of Chikungunya then use insect repellants such as DEET or promythrin in the vicinity
- People who are affected with chickun gunya should wear long clothes in order to prevent mosquitoes bite them and spread the disease.
- The doors and windows must be kept closed in the dawn and dusk periods to prevent mosquitoes.
- The aedes aegypti mosquito doesn't travel more. So the disease spreads due to the travelling of chickun gunya affected people. So the patients should regulate their travelling.
- People can take preventive medicines such as Inthukantham Kashaya & Vilvadi Gulika
Diet for Preventing Chikungunya
- There should be a sufficient percentage of fluids in the food in the form of soups, gravies, dals.
- The diet should be easily digestible such as leafy vegetarian food.
- Oil must not be used.
- Fruits like Apples and plantains are good but cold fruits such as oranges, watermelons must be avoided.
- If the fever continues then Tea and coffee must be avoided
Ayurvedic Treatment for Chikungunya
There are some Ayurvedic herbs that can reduce the symptoms of Chikungunya.
- Dry, seedless grapes mixed with cow's milk is a good medicine which gives relief from several chickun gunya symptoms
- Taking raw carrot is and excellent medicine as it increases resistivity of body against chickun gunya symptoms
- Tulsi leaves which reduces fever is taken as a medicine.