Chikungunya treatment and remedies


Chikungunya

INFECTIOUS DISEASES – Chikungunya – Re-emerging epidemic


The buzzing beat of mosquito wings strikes terror in the human heart as panic regarding chikungunya spreads. Even though chikungunya is not supposed to be a fatal disorder, as every sufferer proclaims, it is better to die than to suffer from chikungunya. All this leads to a boom in the sale of mosquito repellents. One needs to be cautious to avoid their overuse or overdose since they poison the air.
Human race often faces natural calamities like cholera, plague, dengue, earthquakes, leptospirosis, tsunami, bird flu / avian fever, etc. One which was added to the list recently was chikungunya. As everything had been tackled well, one should hope that chikungunya will also be tackled in the near future.

Fever is always considered a friend and not a disease. Fever acts as a defence mechanism to indicate any problem in our body from external or internal factors. Usually, medicos fashionably call vague fever as PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin) when they cannot fix causative factor after all investigations. But, now with difficulty in diagnosing chikungunya, (due to non-availability of well-equipped laboratories) every fever is feared to be chikungunya.
Chikungunya & its causes – Chikungunya is a contagious, continuous fever which spreads through mosquito bite, especially the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is a viral disorder caused by alpha virus (also called chik virus). Chikungunya is named after the posture of a person who suffers from this severe type of fever (i.e. doubling up due to severe joint pains – in the local language of Tanzania). Sources say that chikungunya was first identified in Tanzania (1952) and in India by 1963. It had also a violent outbreak in India by 1971. The monster that disappeared has come back again with a new face, now in 2006. At present, it has been identified in most of the southern states of India, especially Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (especially in Dindigul, Salem, Nagercoil, Chennai) and Kerala.
About mosquitoes & spread – Mosquitoes can be found all over the place/world. There are several types of mosquitoes, for example – Anopheles, Culex, Aedes, etc. They transmit diseases to humans through their bites. Anopheles type spreads malaria, Culex, viral encephalitis, whereas Aedes spreads filaria, yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, etc. They all grow from egg to larva to pupa to become adult mosquitoes. Usually, all male mosquitoes feed on plant juices and they never bite humans/hosts. But, all female mosquitoes are bloodsuckers. They breed more commonly in rainy days. The size, breeding place, living place, lifespan differ from type to type. The lifespan of Aedes type of mosquito is around one month.
Aedes-type mosquitoes are smaller than other mosquitoes and they breed only in artificially stagnated fresh water, i.e. water tanks, water stored flower pots, buckets filled with water, etc. Aedes aegypti is the more common type. It is also called Asian tiger mosquito as it has white stripes in its black body and legs. It bites chiefly during the daytime.
Symptoms – Usually symptoms differ from place to place / patient to patient depending upon the age and stamina of the sufferer. The common symptoms are

  • Sudden rise in temperature above 101°F
  • Continuous fever with restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache and severe body pain
  • Painful joints, especially knee and ankle
  • Swelling in the joints (occasional)
  • Redness and soreness of eyes
  • Glare of vision / sensitivity of eyes on seeing bright objects (occasional)
  • Itching, blotches and burning skin rashes (occasional)
  • Coated tongue with loss of taste
  • Ulcers or blisters in mouth
  • Diarrhoea (occasional)
  • Bleeding internal or external (in skin, brain and kidney) (occasional)
  • Neurological complications due to bleeding in brain (occasional)
Generally fever takes 5-7 days to subside (if properly treated), whereas other symptoms (if developed) take longer to go. For example – joint pains / swelling take at least 10-15 days to subside, sometimes even months.
Diagnosis & investigations 



In India, no lab other than the National Institute of Virology, Pune, is equipped to detect the presence of causative virus or its viral load. Anyway, during suffering, it is better to rule out other illness by visiting the local physician for examination of pulse, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, joints, skin and eye. Also it is better to get investigated at the laboratory for routine blood tests and urine tests.
Blood – Tc, Dc, ESR, Hb%, RBCs, platelets, bleeding time, clotting time, malarial parasite, filarial parasite, Widal (to rule out typhoid), serum bilirubin (to rule out jaundice), serum creatinine (to rule out kidney disorders), sugar, urea, etc. Urine – Bile salts, bile pigments, sugar, albumin and deposits Also ultrasound scan and CT / MRI should be done where there arises any suspicion of bleeding.
Normally, in chikungunya, platelet counts fall to cause internal or external bleeding. Also, sometimes there may be a fall in neutrophils count which may indicate weakened immune mechanism.
Complications 


Normally, there won’t be any complication at all other than prolonged joint pains. In rare cases, death occurs. If complaints/symptoms are cared for well and treated well, one can rule out complications. But sometimes, in elderly persons, complication may arise in the brain (to cause dementia, paralysis, tremors, etc.) and kidney. Children should be cared for well since they cannot point out the symptoms in the early stages to avoid complications.
Prevention – Prevention and control can be achieved in many ways, i.e. by controlling mosquitoes, the environment & sufferers.
Environmental control
  • Controlling the breeding sites by avoiding water stagnation in and around houses
  • Keep covered water stored in buckets and tanks
Controlling mosquitoes

  • Mosquitoes can be controlled by using net, mesh, coils, liquids, sprays, creams, etc.
  • Fogging and killing them (for adult mosquito) especially in daytime since they are active during daytime.
  • Using bleaching powder and other pesticides / chemicals in stored water (to clear larva and pupa). Care should be taken that this water is not used for drinking.
Controlling travel
  • As Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are very weak fliers and never cross a quarter of a kilometre, the real culprits who spread the disease worldwide are travellers. So it is better to control travellers also when they suffer from chikungunya.
Self care – Caring equals curing, so,
Take
  • Bed rest in a well-ventilated, cool room until the fever subsides
  • Sponge bath with lukewarm water
  • Extra fluids to compensate dehydration (water, juices, vegetable soups, etc.)
  • A light diet without oil
  • Extra cover with warm blankets when there is shivering
  • Care for bleeding tendencies
Use
  • Mosquito net, mesh, coils, liquids, sprays, creams, etc., to keep away mosquitoes
  • Full sleeves to avoid mosquito bites and spreading the disease to others
Avoid
  • Coffee, soft drinks and tea
  • Watching TV since it may aggravate soreness of eye
General treatment – The World Health Organisation has not declared or authenticated any drug against chikungunya till now. Since chikungunya seems to be a self-limiting viral fever and has no specific treatment till now, conservative treatment will be usually given with the advice of bed rest, anti-pyretic drugs (like Paracetamol, Crocin, etc.) and analgesics. One need not go in for antibiotic treatment unless the situation requires it. Also, one should be aware that chikungunya fever is caused by virus and not by bacteria to have antibiotics. In spite of ineffectiveness of antibiotics against viral infections, if one opts for antibiotic treatment, they may often face drug effects with weakened stamina.
Homeopathic approach 


In Homeopathy, we treat the patients (symptoms of the patients) and not the disease. In Homeopathy, medicines are usually selected with the mode of onset of complaints, characteristic symptoms of the patient with respect to appetite, thirst, sweat, shivering, mental restlessness, sleep, urine, stool habits, and the character of the disease and its exciting cause, etc. A well-selected remedy quickly supports the body mechanism and clears the complaints at the earliest.
In Homeopathy, the medicines are not going to act against the disease or kill the bacteria or virus directly; diagnosis with lab investigations and causative factor (bacteria or virus) are less important. So, a lot of patients being diagnosed (?) as having chikungunya or ‘PUO’ can also be easily treated by increasing the immune mechanism with Homeopathy medicines. Homeopathic remedies make the patient more comfortable during treatment by supporting the healing process and stimulating the immune response.
Most often, chikungunya sufferers get hospitalised with high temperature, severe body pain, swelling of joints and redness of eyes. Even after treatment, the symptoms will not completely disappear and they will not feel the well-being sensation even after completion of the treatment. This most feared, communicable, tough in treating, chikungunya fever with its symptoms can be treated/controlled well with effective Homeopathy treatment. Homeopathy plays a major role by increasing the resistance power. The resistance is sought to be improved by giving no chance for occurrence or recurrence due to re-infection of the same bacteria or virus. One can feel the well-being sensation while / after being treated with Homeopathic medicines.
For treating chikungunya fever/suffering – Homeopathic medicines commonly used are Aconite, Apis-mel, Ars alb, Baptisia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Eupatorium Perf, Ferrum phos, Gelsemium, Nat mur, Rhus tox, Pulsatilla, Pyrogen, etc. It is better to have these medicines under the advice and diagnosis of a Qualified Homeopath since symptoms presentation of each individual varies and often calls for different type of medicines even for the same chikungunya fever. So, without consulting a doctor, one cannot take the right medicine for any ailment.

For prevention
 – One can buy the following medicines from Homeopathic pharmacy and take as per instructions for a week:
Rhus tox 1M / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily morning and evening &
Eupatorium perf 1M / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily afternoon and night
For post-fever effects
  • For joint pains and tiredness -
    Arnica 1M/ only one dose / 4 pills of 30 size globules – at bed time, followed with Rhus tox 1M / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily morning, afternoon, evening & night for a week
  • For joints swelling and pain-
    Bryonia 1M / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily morning and evening & Apis 200 / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily afternoon and night for a week
  • For headache -
    Gelsemium 200 / 5ml pills of 30 size globules / 4 pills / daily morning, afternoon, evening and night for a week
If any of the complaints happen to persist or seem not to get improved, it is better to consult your health professional immediately.

for new hope

Dr. S. Chidambaranathan, BHMS, MD (Homeo)
Laxmi Homeo Clinic
24 E. New Mahalipatti Road
Madurai, TN 625 001
India

Tel:  +91-452-233-8833 | +91-984-319-1011 (Mob)
Fax: +91-452-233-0196
E-mail:  drcheena@yahoo.com
www.drcheena.com / www.drcheena.in


(Disclaimer: The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)

Dr Cheena

Dr Cheena

Simple notes on Drcheena

Dr S. Chidambaranathan is a compassionate and highly skilled homeopathic doctor who has been rated as the Best Homoeopathic Doctor in Madurai.

Because of him “LAXMI HOMOEO CLINIC” is a “Healing Gateway” Imparting quality treatment to his patients with dignity and utmost care.

He is always reachable and concerned for comfort of the sick to cope up with their expectation. Because of his treatment with highest standard many patients were able to avoid surgeries in many incidences. In LAXMI HOMOEO CLINIC patients are treated with dignity, kindness and respect with privacy.

Further Dr S. Chidambaranathan helps the patients to manage their health on their own and to stay independent from all sorts of medicines as much as possible.

To cope up with ever changing trends in medicine and disease management he continues to upgrade his knowledge evident by the various papers presented
in different seminars and articles published online by him.

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The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.

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