What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya is an illness that spreads through mosquito bites. The mosquitoes carrying the CHIKV virus, if bite a human being, transmits the virus to cause sickness. There are two types of species of mosquitoes that can spread this infection. The virus is very active when temperature varies between 10-20 degrees Celsius, temperature lower or high than this can reduce viral activity but does not inhibit it completely.
Controlling this virus from spreading is extremely difficult as it gets circulated through the blood of animals and birds as well.
Chikungunya has a death rate of 1 in 1000 and it can fatal for very old or very young and people with a medical condition that gets aggravated due to infection.
Home remedies for chikungunya are helpful in treating the infection in a short time. There is no vaccination available to control this infection from spreading. Even home remedies for chikungunya cannot prevent infection from occurring.
This infection is marked by painful symptoms it raises. It can restrict a person to bed by causing moderate to severe pain on movement. The symptoms of infection may last for a week but aftereffects may persist for months.
Natural treatment for chikungunya helps in alleviating infection and aftereffects efficiently and safely. People traveling and staying over unknown places are at high risk of catching this infection.
Though most cases happens in Asia and the Asia-pacific region, this virus has made a large number of people sick even in European countries and parts of the USA.
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Causes and Symptoms of Chikungunya
Mosquito bites are causes of infection. Infected mosquito when bites and pierce the skin transmit the virus into the human body. This virus in a span of 10-12 days grows and raises symptoms of chikungunya.
The virus can survive in human for longer period in blood during an outbreak. From here it gets transmitted to mosquitos and back to humans. During other times, birds, monkeys and other animals are reservoir for virus without carrying any symptoms.
Apart from mosquito bites infection can be transmitted from mother to child and also through the donation of infected blood and organs. However, these kinds of transmissions of infection are rare and survive only in theory.
Once bitten, human becomes reservoir of virus and source of infection to others. Aedes and A. ageypti are types of mosquitos which spread the infection through virus transmission from humans to humans.
The incubation period for virus is from one day to 10-12 days but usually symptoms arrive within 5-7 days. The symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain.
The severity of joint pain may vary from person to person, the formation of a rash over the skin are also symptoms of infection.
During fever, viruses can be identified through blood tests. The fever of chikungunya is biphasic which can reach up to 102 degrees to 104 degrees and come and go in phases.
Once fever subsides the joint pain may last for weeks to a year. Rash formation is common in nearly 50% of the cases. Neurological problems are rare but also a possibility with chikungunya.
Home Remedies for Chikungunya
Giloy – Home Remedies for Chikungunya
There are very useful home remedies for chikungunya which are effective in clearing infection and also relieving its frustrating symptoms.
This herb can be used as a supplement in the form of tonic or capsule. The dosage prescribed for an adult in a day is about one gram per day.
For children below age of five years 250 Mg is the prescribed quantity. Regular intake of this herb from the day of onset of symptoms works as one of the reliable home remedies for chikungunya.
Papaya Leaves – Home Remedy for Chikungunya
Papaya leaves are also trusted and effective home remedies for chikungunya. Take about 7-8 fresh leaves of papaya. Remove the stem and central vein and crush the leaves and blend with some water to get a paste.
Strain this paste and collect the liquid part. Consume two teaspoons of this every three hours till fever subsides. The use of these leaves helps in clearing infection and suppressing aftereffects of infection.
Cold Compresses – Treatment to Cure Symptoms of Chikungunya
Cold compresses are good home remedies for chikungunya symptoms like joint pain. Crush few ice cubes and wrap the content in a cotton cloth.
Apply the bag over joint for a minute or more and remove, apply again once blood flow begins and repeat 2-3 times in the day.
Cold compresses maintain movement and prevent pain from aggravating. These also suppress stiffness in convalescent-phase and provide faster recovery.
Turmeric – Home Remedies for Chikungunya
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and also improves immune system functions. This is also recommended as home remedies for chikungunya. Add half teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk and drink before bedtime.
You can sprinkle turmeric over salad or other food items and consume. Intake of turmeric is good for clearing infection and relieving symptoms. If you do not want to consume milk add turmeric to warm water.
Cayenne Pepper – Natural Treatment for Chikungunya
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
Cayenne pepper works as highly effective pain reliever. Its topical application relieves pain and promotes movement in joints.
To get homemade natural treatment for chikungunya joint pain take 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, one cup of olive, jojoba or almond oil and half a cup of grated beeswax.
Heat the ingredients in a double-boiler and mix them well. Put off the flame and allow the mixture to cool down. Keep it in the refrigerator to chill and apply over affected joints.
Repeat application 2-3 times in the day it will relieve pain and promote movement. This is one of the fast-acting home remedies for chikungunya.
Castor Oil and Cinnamon – Remedy to Relieve Symptoms of Chikungunya
Massages of affected joints also work well to relieve the symptoms of infection. Castor oil and cinnamon mixture work as effective natural treatment for chikungunya symptoms.
Take two tablespoons of castor oil and add half teaspoon of cinnamon powder to it. Heat the mixture to make it warm a bit and apply over affected joints. Massage for few minutes twice in a day regularly.
Grapes and Milk – Natural Treatment to Treat Chikungunya
Take handful of seedless grapes. Chew these and swallow with a cup of warm cow’s milk. Repeat this remedy twice in a day after 6-8 hours regularly to get rid of fever and other symptoms.
Decoction made with Holy basil leaves and water is also excellent remedy to get rid of fever and related symptoms. Take 10 leaves of basil and boil with two glasses of water till water gets reduced to half. Strain and drink the remaining water.
Diet for Chikungunya Patients
Diet for chikungunya can be divided into two parts broadly, one for period when there is fever and another for convalescent phase.
During fever light and semi-solid foods shall be eaten in place of heavy and greasy food items. Soups, particularly tomato soup with garlic and ginger paste in it are useful for controlling virus by improving immunity and supplementation of good amount of nutrition.
Green leafy vegetables are other wonderful foods for gaining nutrition and compounds which fight back fatigue and improve immunity.
These shall form the core of diet during fever in the form of soups or salads. A very thin mixture of yellow lentil and rice is also a good diet for chikungunya patients during fever.
During fever light meal of citrus fruits is also helpful in curbing viral activities and bringing fever under control.
All types of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, Kiwi etc. and fruits rich in vitamin C like papaya, pineapple etc. are good parts of diet for chikungunya. Bananas, plantain, apples, avocado, wheat and nuts shall be given during recovery phase after fever.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, pulses, flaxseeds etc. shall be included in the diet of patient for faster recovery from chikungunya.
Soy, pomegranates, Chia seeds, button mushrooms, Brazil nuts, cabbages, etc. are rich in zinc and selenium which are excellent foods for faster recovery and suppressing aftereffects of infection.
Drink coconut water through the fever and recovery phase 2-3 times in the day. This is packed with nutrients and minerals and is excellent for keeping body hydrated.
Chikungunya Treatment and Prevention
Prevention of chikungunya is only possible by preventing mosquito bites. The mosquito which transmits infection from infected humans to animals, birds and to humans back grows and breeds in still freshwater.
This mosquito is very active during the day unlike other species of mosquitoes which are more active at night. Protection from mosquito is best prevention of chikungunya as there is no vaccination available to shield the virus.
Special steps shall be taken to avoid water logging even in small amount. Even used plastic cups or utensils thrown outside house can collect rainwater and allow growth of mosquito which transmits chikungunya.
If removing water is not possible sprinkling insecticides on regular basis is good way of killing mosquitoes. Use insecticide sprays on a regular basis in lawns and around plants.
Avoid moving outside with short-sleeved shirts or short pants. Keep body covered as much as possible and wear mosquito repellent cream always whenever out in the open.
Mosquito carrying viruses can fly a distance so take care everywhere. Avoid traveling to places that may contain mosquitoes and clean the car regularly.
At home use sticks and soaps which repel mosquitoes, strong sprays shall be sprayed over areas which generally contain water. Keep water coolers and desert coolers dry completely if not in use.
Take special care if someone in a neighbourhood or in the family has fallen sick because of chikungunya. These steps can only provide protection and prevention of chikungunya.
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