Dreaded yet underreported, the Chikungunya virus has already killed 3 out of 5 patients in Nepal.
The said cases were reported from the districts of Chitwan and Syangja projecting a 60 percent fatality rate.
According to Sher Bahadur Pun, MD, PhD, many physicians fail to include CHIKV to most of their diagnosis.
Still, many physicians do not include CHIKV in their differential diagnosis in Nepal. Therefore, it can be assumed that the true number of CHIKV cases is likely to be much higher than what EDCD has reported. -Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, MD, PhD
In Dr. Pun’s letter to Promedmail, Chikungunya was briefly discussed.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration. The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya
Dr. Pun observed that the symptoms of Dengue and Zika Viruses are somewhat similar to Chikungunya making the latter significantly underreported; laboratory confirmation is indeed necessary to differentiate the three viruses.
Just like with Dengue and Zika, a clean environment is essential to combat the risks of mosquitoes lying around bringing fatal vectors close to unsuspecting patients.
Another reason to take Chikungunya seriously is the possibility of brain swelling and inflammation. These rare cases usually occur on infants and adults aged 65 and up; a symptom that is very similar to Japanese encephalitis.
Beware. Clean your community. Be vigilant in your surroundings.
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