Experts on Thursday advised fever patients not to be panicked about Chikungunya infection, saying that even a test on Chikungunya and hospitalisation were not necessarily important because the disease was self-relieving and not fatal.
At a media orientation programme on Chikungunya, they said the fever patients should test on other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria or typhoid.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research organised the orientation at its campus when a spread of Chikungunya started in the capital in last couple of weeks.
Health Services director general Abul Kalam Azad, IEDCR director Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Health Services director for disease control Sanya Tahmina and Dhaka Medical College Hospital medicine department head Khan Abul Kalam Azad spoke at the meeting.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease, which has some similar symptoms to that of dengue. Aedes mosquito transmits both dengue and Chikungunya.
Health Services director general Abul Kalam Azad said the best means of prevention of dengue and Chikungunya is overall mosquito control.
‘Infected with Chikungunya means the person’s house is somehow responsible for breeding of Aedes mosquito… so take responsibility on yourself to keep the house clean and ensure that water is not stagnant at bathroom, backside of refrigerator, in the flower tubs and other containers so that Aedes mosquito cannot breed’, he said.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital medicine department head Khan Abul Kalam Azad said Chikungunya begins with high fever accompanied by joint pain.
Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. Hence the virus can cause acute, sub-acute or chronic disease, Khan said.
After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between four and eight days but can range from two to 12 days, he said.
Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years, Khan said.
He said only the child, pregnant and older patients are required to be admitted in hospitals. Other patients, who have complications like kidney, diabetes and hypertension, should also be admitted in hospital.
‘A general flow of Chikungunya patients to hospital is unnecessary… even a test on Chikungunya in not important’, he said.
Khan said other tests for the fever patients could be done to detect dengue, typhoid and other diseases.
Dengue could be identified from day one of fever, but anyone whose fever is not controlled after seven days could be tested on dengue, he said.
Khan said there was no specific antiviral drug for the treatment for Chikungunya and Paracetamol was the drug of choice for relieving both fever and pain.
IEDCR director Meerjady Sabrina Flora said some 86 Chikungunya patients were detected in Dhaka upon test of 139 suspected patients in April and mid-May.
She said the institute identified Kalabagan, Hatirpool, Kathalbagan, Dhanmondi and Rampura areas are more prone to Aedes mosquito now.
Patients outside Dhaka were not detected yet, she said.
Health Services director for disease control Sanya Tahmina said mosquito source reduction was key to control the mosquito-borne diseases.
She said water-filled containers are habitats for Aedes mosquito and water stagnant for little amount of time was enough to breed Aedes.
Sanya said registered larvicide, which are available in the market, should be sprayed in water-tank in house. Such larvicide prevents breeding of Aedes, but makes no harm to human health, she said.
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