Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia). It causes fever and severe joint pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
Most patients recover fully, but in some cases, joint pain may persist for several months or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints.
The disease occurs in Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration.
The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common
The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Most commonly, the mosquitoes involved are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, two species which can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Ae. aegypti will also readily feed indoors. After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between 4 and 8 days but can range from 2 to 12 days.
Serological tests, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibody levels are highest 3 to 5 weeks after the onset of illness and persist for about 2 months.
Prevention and control
Prevention and control rely heavily on reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled container habitats that support the breeding of the mosquitoes. This requires the mobilization of affected communities. During outbreaks, insecticides may be sprayed to kill flying mosquitoes, applied to surfaces in and around containers where the mosquitoes land and used to treat water in containers to kill the immature larvae.
Clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the day-biting vectors is advised. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin or to clothing in strict accordance with product label instructions.
Homeopathic Treatment of Chikungunya
The homeopathic treatment of Chikungunya has been very effective as seen in my clinical experience even more than conventional allopathic treatment as the conventional treatment would make gastritis and nausea worse and the patient felt weaker and drained physically with allopathy.
In fact, so prompt was the relief that in one of the cases, the fever and joint pains subsided even before serological reports could confirm the diagnosis of Chikungunya!
Some of the remedies that were found effective depending upon the individual patient’s presenting symptoms are as follows:
1. Actea Spicata – It has an affinity for the small joints, especially of hands and feet, region .loss of consciousness. Sour vomiting, High fever.
2. Agaricus – Agaricus is a valuable remedy for rheumatic conditions of the neck and back, especially of theregion.Irritable, delirium ,vertigo.Itching and burning of affected areas.Worse sitting and standing.
3. Arnica montana – High fever with thirst.Very sensitive joints and swelling.Vertigo .Worse by touch, walking.
4. Belladonna -Sudden high fever with mental restlessness and anxiety.Flushed face, Increased thirst.
5. Bryonia Alba – This remedy may not be indicated in initial days but may be needed later after a few days of rising fever and joint pains. Better by pressure and lying on painful side, increased thirst.Stitching pains, red and swollen joints.
6. Calcarea Carbonica – Fever with profuse sweating of head and neck, joints swollen and pale.Worse walking, morning ,evening, cold wet weather, working in water.
7. Cimicifuga – Cimicifuga is often called for in acute articular rheumatism affecting the joints of the lower limbs, with swelling and heat of the part, especially the muscles of the neck, back, and chest; the pains are worse by motion and toward night.
8. Colchicum autumnale – Fever with chilliness, great thirst ,sensitive to touch and motion.
9. Rhus Toxicodendron –It can affect most joints and muscles with a desire to change positions frequently.Fever with increased thirst, a triangular red tip of the tongue.Worse when beginning to move or after rest.Worse in cold, weather.
10.Eupatorium purp. –Pain in bones, going below upwards with constantly changing location. Associated with restlessness, nausea, thirst, and cough.
There can be many more remedies, because of space constraint, I have included only the most common and prominent ones.