Chikungunya Outbreak in Pakistan – Prevention and Control

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chikungunya

Chikungunya is a single-stranded RNA virus belongs to alphavirus genome. This virus can be transmitted to humans via the bite of an Aedes mosquito. Chikungunya is endemic in Asia, Africa, and Europe. This virus was first identified in Tanzania in 1952. Some symptoms of Chikungunya are similar to dengue fever. So it can be misdiagnosed as dengue fever.

Arthralgia (Joint pain) is the most prominent symptom of this disease. The disease instigates with the sudden onset of fever and joint pain. Other symptoms are rashes, headache, nausea, fatigue and muscular pain.

CHIKV mode of action is initiated within 4 to 8 days after the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. ELISA and RT-PCR, both techniques are helpful in order to diagnose CHIKV.

Water-filled containers (artificial or natural) are the breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes. So prevention and control of the disease are mainly depending upon on reducing their breeding sites. Insecticides must be used to kill mosquitoes, especially around breeding spots. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin areas to prevent from these species. Clothing such as full sleeves and pants are advised to wear to lessen exposure to mosquitoes.

However, the government of Pakistan needs to focus on disease management strategies such as maintain the record of patients, manage cases and carry out public communication to increase social awareness to cope up with Chikungunya.

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