Chikungunya fever is a new panic in Dhaka city. It’s spreading very fast in our capital.
The name “chikungunya” derives from a word “walk-bent” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain. Chikungunya transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Its treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. Chikungunya is characterised by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, rash & unbearable joint pain. Chikungunya virus can invade abnormal heart rhythms and aggravate eye complication, neurological and kidney problem. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.
Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of multiple complications.
These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours like in the early morning and late afternoon. 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. Several methods can be used for diagnosis. Serological tests, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies, complete blood count, SGPT,C-Reactive Protein.
Chikungunya might not have a treatment available in the market, but its symptoms can be significantly reduced by using the home remedies listed below. To aid quick recovery, the following food items should be included in your diet.
Turmeric- Turmeric contains curcumin, a strong antioxidant that exhibits anti-inflammatory characteristics which helps curing the symptoms of Chikungunya. Mix well 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder with a glass of warm milk. Drink one glass in the morning and one before you go to bed.
Ginger- It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and helps to minimise the inflammation due to this viral infection. It contains naturally occurring analgesics that mimic Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
Grapes with cow milk- This remedy gives relief from severe symptoms of chikungunya such as pain and fever. The phenolic compounds present in grapes possess antioxidant and antiviral properties. Chew the grapes and drink the milk along with it. You can repeat this for a day or two.
Papaya leaves - In infections like chikungunya and dengue, the blood platelet count is highly affected. Papaya leaf ingestion raises these numbers, thus aiding the body to recover from the infection. This leaf extract also possesses larvicidal properties against the larva of the mosquito that causes chikungunya. Mix 7-8 fresh papaya leaves and water and drink two tablespoons of this juice every three hours. Continue drinking this for 2-3 days.
Tulsi (basil) - leaves are very effective when they are used to treat chikungunya fever. Antimicrobial activity of these leaves reduces the fever and boosts the body’s immunity. Mix 10 basil leaves and ½ litre water. Boil the basil leaves until the water reduces to a half. Strain the decoction. Sip this throughout the day.
Coconut water- It is essential to keep your body hydrated if you are suffering from chikungunya. Coconut water is a good remedy for the detoxified liver as well as the chikungunya virus. Its manganese content helps reducing joint pain as it acts as anti-inflammatory agent. Drink 3-4 glasses of coconut water during the day.
The writer is a Consulting Nutritionist & CEO, Center for nutrition & weight