“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
What every Jamaican should Know about the Chikungunya Virus!
According to Wikihow.com, Chickungunya has three phases that can last from 3-12 weeks to a month. There are no vaccines or medication made specifically for this virus and it said to have been originated in Tropical regions such as Africa and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Mosquito. The chikungunya virus (CHIK V) is a RNA virus belonging to family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus. It was first discovered in Africa in 1952-1953 and later introduced into Asia.Major epidemics or outbreaks of chikungunya fever occur cyclically, a disease-free period of several years or decades may exist between the outbreaks. For example, a well-documented outbreak of the disease occurred in parts of India in 1963, 1964 and 1973. For the last 30 years there have been few reported cases, however, in 2005 several states in India have reported outbreaks of the disease and the outbreak is still continuing.Chikungunya is present where its mosquito vectors are common. Chikungunya is found in areas with heavy rainfall and abound during the rainy season.
What differentiates Chikungunya fever from dengue fever is the absence of excessive bleeding and shock, and the persistence of joint pains in Chikungunya. Incubation period is 1-12 days before symptoms occur in a patient. It is crucial that one drink teas and consume food that boost the immune system so as to prevent disease.
It is transmitted through a bite by two mosquitoes, namely Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These are daytime mosquitoes which are active a few hours before sunrise and for several hours before sunset.
The symptoms of Chikungunya includes as followed.
In the Acute Phase-
1. Low or High Grade fever similar to flu like symptoms
Fever may last for 24 hours up to 48 hours and then it might disappear for a day and return. The febrile state may last up to two weeks before normal body temperature is restored.
2. Joint pains that will be severe in the mornings and can be relieved by walking around but will get worst if one does an exercise that puts too much pressure on the muscles. Pain maybe felt in the wrist, elbows, knees, shoulders and hips.
3. Rashes that might look like small reddish bumps and pimples. It some cases there might be blisters and they often follow the fever. Not everyone will get rashes but look out for those. Over the counter Anti-itching and topical cremes may relieve discomfort.
4. The most common eye conditions in Chikungunya are conjunctivitis, eye pain, and pain behind the eyeball,
Other Serious complications that may arise
Chikungunya occurs from a month to three months after the acute phase of illness ends. During the subacute phase, the main symptom is arthritis. Aside from this, disorders of blood vessels like Raynaud’s phenomenon can occur.
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition where there is decreased blood flow to the hands and feet in response to cold or emotional stress.
Chikungunya may affect the meninges or coverings of the brain, the spinal cord, the brain itself, and the nerves. Brain and nerve disorders due to Chikungunya are varied and beyond the scope of this discussion. Some disorders of common knowledge would be seizures, nerve pain, and altered mental condition of the patient.
As for blood complications, there may be mild bleeding conditions in Chikungunya like bleeding under the conjunctiva of the eyes, nose- and gum bleeding. Unlike dengue, bleeding in Chikungunya is self-limiting or will not persist for long and eventually stop.
Some conditions seen in Chikungunya would be myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), pericarditis (inflammation of the heart covering or the pericardium), heart failure, irregular heart beats, and abnormal blood flow. However, know that these complications of Chikungunya are rare and occur only in the subacute to chronic phase of Chikungunya.
Treatment of Disease
Paracetamol at the Pharmacy. Aside from Paracetamol, do sponge bathing until the temperature returns to normal. Use tap water and not ice water for sponge baths because of rebound return of fever or fever tends to be higher immediately after using ice water.
Treat Pain with Ibruprofen
Low Impact Exercise for Joint Pain
Have a solid eight hours of sleep at night and other nap periods if necessary. Rest in a warm environment.
Apply cold compresses to the affected joints in order to decrease pain and reduce joint damage.
Consume plenty of water at 2 liters in 24 hours at home to prevent dehydration from fever and for well-being. Be sure that urine output is more than 30 milliliters per hour or at least 720 ml per 24 hours.
Use pain-relievers and massage for headache. For headache, using paracetamol as described above, would help. Napping for a few minutes or massage your forehead or scalp should help relieve the headache.
Papaya and the boiling of the leaves to make tea is considered a grand herbal remedy to fight the Chikungunya Virus. Papaya leaf remedy is found to be highly effective in increasing the blood count lowers when one has Chick V virus. It is said to improve it within three hours of consuming tea or in many cases pulp extract of the Papaya leaf. Take two leaves and remove the stems, grind it to smooth paste and strain it to extract the juice. Take 2-3 tbsp of juice for 3 days.
Garlic Tea is great for antibiotic purpOses
Castor Oil or Coconut Oil are essential for massaging joints to remove pain.
Chickungunya Prevenetion tips
Cover tightly with a lid all water tanks, cisterns, barrels, rubbish containers, etc.
Remove or empty water in old tyres, tin cans, bottles, trays, etc.
Check and clean out clogged gutters and flat roofs where water may have settled.
Change water regularly in pet water dishes, birdbaths and plant trays.
Introduce larvivorous fish (e.g. guppy) to ornamental water features as these eat the mosquito larvae.
Trim weeds and tall grasses as adult mosquitoes seek these for shade on hot days.
People can do the following to prevent themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes.
Wear long sleeves and pants.
Install secure screens to windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Use Insect Repellants
Sleep under mosquito curtains or nets, this is particularly important when children are sleeping or resting during daylight hours.
In high-risk areas insecticide sprays may be used to kill mosquitoes.
Avoid using aspirin because it may cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines and Reye’s syndrome in children less than 12 years old. Reye’s syndrome is a serious disease among children 4 to 12 years old where there are serious brain and liver symptoms, and can be fatal. It is due to a viral illness and even aspirin.
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