Influenza is an acute infection of short duration. It spreads from person to person by contact inhalation of viruses. A sneeze or cough from an infected individual produces many droplets containing virus and these may be inhaled by those nearby.
The incubation period is abou 2 days with a range of 1-7 days. Onset is usually sudden and consists of headache, lassitude, myalgia, shivering and fever. The patient usually has a dry cough but there is frequent sneezing or sore throat. The illness is associated with pyrexia and lasts for about 5 days. The patient may complain of lassitude and depression for one or two weeks. A secondary but small rise in temperature may occur but if temperature remains elevated after the fifth day then one of the pulmonary complications is likely. Bronchitis and pneumonia are the most important and frequent complications of influenza.
Chikungunya is an infection caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms. Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after an infected mosquito bites you. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Death from chikungunya is rare. Most patients feel better within a week. However, joint pain can be severe and disabling and may persist for months. People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections
See your healthcare provider if you have visited an area where chikungunya is found and have symptoms described above. Tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled. Your healthcare provider might order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar viruses like dengue and Zika. There is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya.Treat the symptoms:
Get plenty of rest. Drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication. If you have chikungunya, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness. During the first week of illness, chikungunya virus can be found in the blood. The virus can be passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
Dengue. It is a mosquito-borne viral disease occurring in tropical and subtropical areas. Those who become infected with the virus a second time are at a significantly greater risk of developing severe disease. Millions of cases of dengue infection occur worldwide each year. Dengue fever is most common in Southeast Asia.
Many people experience no signs or symptoms of a dengue infection. When symptoms do occur, they may be mistaken for other illnesses such as flu and usually begin four to ten days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. Dengue fever causes a high fever- 104 F and any of the following signs and symptoms: headache, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, swollen glands and rash.
Severe dengue fever is a life threatening medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention if you’ve recently visited an area in which dengue fever is known to occur, you have had a fever and you develop any of the warning signs.
It is caused by any one of four types of dengue viruses, you can’t get dengue fever from being around an infected person. Instead, dengue fever is spread through mosquito bites. The two types of mosquitoes that most often spread the dengue viruses are common both in and around human lodgings. When a mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another person, the virus enters that person’s bloodstream and causes an infection.
We ourselves need to be cautious and take care of one’s ownself. And try to stay away from such infections and diseases.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.