Everything you need to know about chikungunya

Chikungunya, if not contained, will rapidly lead to acute arthritis

By Author  |  Dr Venugopal Gouri  |  Published: 12th Sep 2019  7:45 pm

We have an immune system, which is always on high alert and produces a rapid action when any invader is in sight. But, long after the offender is subdued, it could still be at its alert self and produce the necessary complexes rich enough to fight an infection. This altered immune response could affect the synovium or the lining of the joint spaces by producing and acute condition or viral arthritis. Chikungunya, the virus that is rampaging the city is dreaded today because of the acute arthritis it is leading to.

All seems to be well on one day, when there is a mild rash with itching on the body leading to the fever the next day. It could rise to not more than 102 F and subside after the usual round of medication. Within 48 hours of fever or even when the temperature is still high, there is pain in the joints. It could affect joints symmetrically i.e. on either side of the body. It could be the smaller joints to start with and later it spreads to the bigger ones of the body. The intensity of the pain can increase drastically within a day and can effectively bring down one’s energy levels. The debilitating pain in the joint does not afford the motion it usually does.

The affected joints get swollen due to the inflammatory change. Stiffness is not far behind as the joint with pain is excruciating to bend. It is also found that patients suffering with any sort of arthritis already find the same joints in an acute stage again. However, most patients get better within the first two weeks of this acute pain while some could find it continues for more than eight weeks. It is for this reason that this epidemic needs to be contained.

The vector of the disease is mosquito. Since the mosquito Aedes aegypti bites during the daytime, one needs to be even more careful. Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to shorten the duration of pain while giving amelioration to the arthritis to start with. Many patients complain of pain even at rest when Arnica, Magnesia phos, Ferrum phos have been useful. If there is pain on movement and ability to move further a while later, Rhus tox is of undoubted value. In obese people, the weight bearing joints are further affected when Ledum pal and Antim crud have been of help. The stiffness is relieved by Guiacum.