For the past two months Delhi NCR has been riding the tsunami of two most distressing disease outbreaks- Chikungunya and Dengue fever.
By now every must be aware that Chikungunya is caused by a virus which harbors in ‘Aedes’ mosquito which essentially breeds in artificial containers with fresh water such as cooler tanks, flower vases, water tanks and others and bites during the day.
Our body responds in two ways. In the initial acute phase, we usually see high grade fever with chills, myalgia, arthralgia, vomiting, malaise and skin rash. Multiple small and medium joints may show painful swelling as in fingers, wrist, ankle, knee, shoulder and low back.
In chronic phase i.e more than three weeks, joint pains are more pronounced due to immune mediated response.
According to Dr Sridevi Gunda , Ophthalmologist at iTek Vision Centre, NOIDA, eyes have also been seen to be affected in the form of conjunctivitis, uveitis or episcleritis, retinitis and optic neuritis wherein the white portion of the eye becomes red. This may or may not be associated with pain.
She further said that in certain cases vision loss can be seen. In initial acute phase pain may be felt at the back of the eye. All the symptoms are self-limiting and Paracetamol and certain NSAIDs can provide symptomatic relief from fever and pain.
“For chronic joint pains respective physicians must be consulted to discuss if there is any role of ‘disease modifying agents’. With regard to ocular symptoms, an ophthalmologist must be consulted to rule out any chances of deterioration of vision,” added the expert.
Dr Gunda concluded saying, this disease is better prevented than treated. This can be achieved by vector control method by eliminating mosquito breeding sites.