What Is Chikungunya? Why Is Chikungunya Test Performed?

Chikungunya is an ugly kind of viral disease which is transmitted through infected AedesAegypti mosquito to the human beings. The virus of Chikungunya is the member of genus Alphavirus belonging to the family of Togaviridae. The Chikungunya disease is more prevalent in Africa as the transmission mainly takes place through mosquitoes and monkeys. If you show symptoms of Chikungunya like joint ache, joint stiffness and swelling, severe headache and fatigue, myalgia or muscular ache, high fever, rash and vomiting, the doctor will immediately prescribe you Chikungunya test. There will be illness after 2-12 days of infection. If the fever is acute, it may last for few weeks or may be couple of days. Even after the patient has recovered from illness, he will experience extreme fatigue and tiredness. Through the diagnosis it will be clear if the virus (CHIKV) is present or not. If the blood sample constitutes viral RNA, specific antibody, then the disease is confirmed. Blood test is the best way to detect the presence of virus in the blood.

The various causes of Chikungunya fever

Chikungunya fever is more prevalent in the tropics as the transmission agent, AedesAegypti mosquito, is more prevalent there. People in the Asian countries are more likely to suffer from it. The disease is transmitted through CHIKV or Chikungunya Virus which is heat sensitive. When the virus infected mosquito bites a human being, he gets infected as well. The result of this fever is high temperature, joint ache and weakness. Its symptoms may be debilitating and long lasting if nothing is done in a timely manner. It was once prevalent in the tropical region but other parts of the world are also affected. The fever may be diagnosed only through the blood test. Till now we don’t have any vaccine to cure it.

Chikungunya Test

Chikungunya Test

When to take the test?

The test has to be taken when the patient has acute fever or polyarthralgia. If the patient has returned from virus transmission area, the test needs to be considered. The laboratory diagnosis or the test is carried out by testing the plasma or serum to detect the virus. The viral culture can be detected within 3 days of fever or illness also. The CHIKV needs be handled under 3 conditions of bio safety level or BSL. Within the 8 days of fever, viral RNA of chikungunya may be found in serum. However, the CHIKV antibody develops only at the end of 7 days of illness. It must also be performed as the part of newborn baby care if the region is prone to CHIK virus. If there are symptoms like severe head ache, sudden fever, joint ache and joint swelling and rashes on the body, the blood test must immediately be taken.

How to prevent Chikungunya fever?

It is rightly remarked that prevention is better than cure. You may prevent mosquitoes from reaching your place. If you can do so, the mosquito cannot bite. The following are the measures you may adopt:

  • On exposed areas of the skin, you may use mosquito repellent.
  • wear full pants and full sleeve shirts
  • Use proper window screens to keep the mosquitoes out
  • Empty standing water in order to eliminate mosquito breeding site

Dawn and dusk are the worst times when mosquitoes can bite a person. It is better to keep your windows and doors closed during this time. Know one thing that the infection can spread from the person who is having the fever.

Simply put, the test is performed to detect the virus of Chikungunya. The test is FDA approved. Whether it is CBC test or CHIKV test, it can take 24 hours to acquire the report. Cover your body when you move outside. Your body should not be exposed to mosquitoes and insects when you go out. Wear long jeans and full-sleeve shirt to avoid any insect bite. As this viral disease is mosquito borne, avoid mosquitoes as much as possible.

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