Chikungunya (also called as Chicken Guinea) is a form of viral fever caused by an alphavirus that is spread by mosquito bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, though recent research by the Pasteur Institute in Paris claims the virus has suffered a mutation that enables it to be transmitted by Aedes Albopictus (Tiger mosquito). This was the cause of the actual plague in the Indian Ocean and a threat to the mediterranean coast at present.
The name is derived from the Makonde word meaning “that which bends up” in reference to the stooped posture developed as a result of the arthritic symptoms of the disease.
Chikungunya – CAUSE
Alphavirus that is spread by mosquito bites from the Aedes aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitos.
CHARACTERISTICS: Togaviridae (formerly group A arboviruses), genus Alphavirus; spherical, enveloped virions 60 nm in diameter, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome
PATHOGENICITY: Self limiting febrile viral disease; characterized by arthralgia or arthritis typically in the knee, ankle and small joints of the extremities, high fever, followed by a maculopapular rash; buccal and palatal enanthema can occur; nausea and vomiting may occur; mild hemorrhaging may be present especially in children; inapperent infections are common, immunity is long lasting
EPIDEMIOLOGY: Found in Africa, India, south east Asia and the Philippines
HOST RANGE: Humans, primates, other mammals, birds
The primary symptoms of Chikungunya include –
- Fever which can reach 39°C, (102.2 °F)
- A petechial or maculopapular rash usually involving the limbs and trunk
- Arthralgia (bodyache) or arthritis affecting multiple joints which can be debilitating. The joint pains can be severe and even crippling.
There can also be headache, conjunctival infection and slight photophobia. Fevertypically lasts for two days and abruptly comes down, however joint pain, intenseheadache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration lasts for a variable period, usually for about 5 to 7 days.
Dermatological manifestations observed in a recent outbreak of Chikungunya fever in Southern India includes the following:
- Maculopapular rash
- Nasal blotchy erythema
- Freckle-like pigmentation over centro-facial area
- Flagellate pigmentation on face and extremities
- Lichenoid eruption and hyperpigmentation in photodistributed areas
- Multiple aphthous-like ulcers over scrotum, crural areas and axilla.
- Lympoedema in acral distribution (bilateral /unilateral)
- Multiple ecchymotic spots (Children)
- Vesiculobullous lesions (infants)
- Subungual hemorrhage
Chikungunya – HOW DIAGNOSIS IS DONE?
- Detection of antigens or antibody to the agent in the blood (serology)
- ELISA is available
- An IgM capture ELISA is necessary to distinguish the disease from dengue fever.
Chikungunya – HOMEOPATHY TREATMENT & HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Homeopathy offers many medicines which may help in Chikungunya. These include medicines like Eupatorium-perf, Pyroginum, Rhus-tox, Cedron, Influenzinum, China, Arnica, Belladona, Bryonia, Arsenic-album etc. Many homeopaths consider Eupatorium perf. as a preventive medicine for Chikungunya. The most commonly suggested potency as prophylaxis is 200C of Eupatorium perf. Eupatorium Perfoliatum Q (tincture, 3 to 5 drop dose) is said to remove the debilitating joint pains and cut short the intensity and duration of the disease. Other potencies may be used according to the intensity of the case. If prostration is very pronounced, Arsenic-album and China are to be given importance. If there is severe headache, China, Cedron and Belladonna should be considered. If headache and prostration are both found together, China is the remedy that is likely to help. Please consult a professional homeopath to find the most suitable remedy for a given case.
Chikungunya – CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT
No vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for chikungunya fever is available. Treatment is symptomatic–rest, fluids, and ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol may relieve symptoms of fever and aching. Aspirin should be avoided
Infected persons should be protected from further mosquito exposure (staying indoors and/or under a mosquito net during the first few days of illness) so that they can’t contribute to the transmission cycle.
Common Homeopathy Remedies for Chikungunya Fever
Eupatorium perfolatum –
Wonderful homeopathic remedy for all kind of joint and muscles pain developed with or after febrile disease. Bone pains, general to severe. Soreness with marked periodicity of complaints. Aching all over the body and soreness of flesh. Swelling of joints.
Intense headache with typical soreness of eyeball. Periodical headache.
Thirst with fever.
Rhus toxicodendron – fever with urticaria, hives. Pain in joints fever with. Hot and painful joints with great physical restlessness. Patient incline to change posture continuously or stretch the limbs. Pain in joints aggravated during rest or by initial motion and ameliorated by continue motion. Pain in body on exposure of cold air.
China officinalis – intermittent fever with great periodicity. Intense headache during fever. Prostration both physically and mentally.
Joints are swollen, very sensitive to touch and better by hard pressure. Debility and trembling of extremities.
Pyroginum– very good medicine for septic fevers where the temperature rises rapidly. Great heat with profuse sweat but sweating does not cause a fall in temperature.
Aching in all limbs and bones. Bed feels too hard. Soreness all over the body better by motion.
Arnica Montana – Severe pain in extremities. Great fear of being touched or approached. Pain in extremities as if bruised o beaten. Everything on which he lies seems too hard. Sprained and dislocated feeling.
Arsenic album – septic fevers with high rise of temperature. Periodicity with mark prostration. Restlessness both mentally and physically. Useful in cases where joint pains are not so marked but patient is restless with great exhaustion.
Other medicines include Gelsemium, Sulphur, Bryonia, Aconite nepllus, Merc. sol, Baptisia, Carbo veg etc.
For complaints like Joint Pains remaining after Chikungunya Fever or Swelling in Feet/Ankles after Chikungunya Fever, consider the following remedies
generalities; swelling; edematous; fever; after (64)
generalities; convalescence, during; fever, after (23)
generalities; weakness; fever; after (43)
The one remedy that covers all of them is China, so China can be used as the remedy for the after effects of Chikungunya fever.
Dr. Bhatia found Sulphur 200 clinically most useful in large number of patients suffering from joint pains after fever, in 2016.
Our reader’s have shared that in most cases they have Eupatorium perf and Rhus tox affective for pains remaining after Chikungunya Fever. One reader suggested use of Kali mur 1M for joint pains remaining after Chikungunya fever.
For treatment of active condition, we have received suggestions about Polyporous Pinicola 200C.
For prevention, we have received suggestions for Eupatorium perf, Arsenic album, Polyporous Pinicola, Chikungunya nosode and PC remedies.