Saturday, 1 June 2013

Dengue versus Chikununya: Top ten things to know

1. Chikungunya and dengue fever are both viral infections transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes
2. The Aedes albopictus is more likely to spread Chikungunya virus and the Aedes aegypti, the dengue virus. Both types of mosquitoes can spread both diseases.
3. A person can be infected with the both diseases at the same time
4. Symptoms for dengue and chikungunya are almost identical- high fever, headache, eye ache, joint pain, rashes and lethargy. The fatigue and the joint pain by both diseases can last for months.
5. To diagnose, doctors can order blood tests to detect the viruses or antibodies against the viruses.
6. Chikungunya is rarely fatal but dengue can be.
7. Dengue haemorrhagic fever, the more serious form of dengue, can kill as it leads to internal bleeding. Dengue shock syndrome can cause organs to shut down when blood pressure dips too low.
8. Dengue treatment involves receiving blood transfusion and hydration.
9. Chikungunya is usually self-limiting and will resolve by itself. Treatment includes bed rest, analgesics and hydration.
10. Currently no vaccine is available for either dengue or chikungunya