Chikungunya In Your Child - Causes, Signs & Home Remedies
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on May 08, 2018
Children, who play outside, are more at risk to mosquito bites. As we all know, mosquitoes caneadful mi carry drcrobes. This makes mosquito bites dangerous at times. With the onset of monsoons, the mosquitoes will start to boom so will be the mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya is one of the common, yet dangerous infection that happens due to mosquito bites during the monsoon season. Recently, the outbreak of this disease has been making frequent headlines once the monsoon kicks in. No wonder chikungunya prevention becomes a priority of every parent during the monsoon season. In 2016, 64,057 cases of chikungunya are reported in India. An alarming fact is that it shows around 340% increase compare to 2013. Do you know if not tested on right time, this disease may not be detected through lab tests? Read on to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for chikungunya in children.
What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease. Even though mostly not fatal, its pain generated by this illness can be highly traumatizing. The severe joint pains, one of the main sign of chikungunya, can last for up to many years. Actually, the name of this disease itself refers to the stooped posture of the patient due to painful joints. Chikungunya spreads quickly in densely populated areas where there are plenty of mosquito breeding places.
What Is The Effect Of Chikungunya In Babies?
Chikungunya is one of a few mosquito-borne illnesses that can be challenging or even dangerous for pregnant women and babies. This is because babies and pregnant women have less resistance power. Moreover detecting chikungunya on right time in babies is difficult as well. Babies infected with chikungunya are at higher risk for contracting the severity of this illness. Therefore, taking measures to avoid mosquito bites for your baby is imperative (both indoor and outdoor).
What Causes Chikungunya In Children?
The only cause of chikungunya is a mosquito bite. Chikungunya virus does not spread from person to person through contact. Chikungunya is spread by the bite of two species of infected female mosquitoes -Aedes Agypti and Aedes Albopictus, commonly known as tiger mosquitoes which are capable of carrying the virus. These are the same mosquito that spreads dengue. The mosquito breeds in stagnant water. The activity of tiger mosquito peaks during the daytime. Mostly during early morning and late afternoon.
Kids love to play outdoors. So, mosquitoes breeding near stagnated water easily bite your children and infect them with the virus. This is why the children are more susceptible to chikungunya. Also, If you are residing close to any mosquito breeding sites, your family and your children are at a very high risk of chikungunya.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chikungunya In Children?
If the child contracts the chikungunya virus, he or she will exhibit the symptoms after the incubation period of 2 to 12 days. Even some children do not show any signs, despite being infected. Chikungunya symptoms in the child are more or less similar to the adults. The only apparent difference is that the main symptom of chikungunya in children is often skin rashes rather than joint pain which is the foremost sign of chikungunya in adults. This is because unlike the adults the children's joints are still going through a development process, thus the spell of pain will be relatively low. Here are the main signs of chikungunya in children:
- The onset of high fever
- Feeling extremely tired and exhausted
- The rash that appears two to three days after the fever has started. The rash of chikungunya in children usually appears on their arms, back, and shoulders and rarely over the entire body. In some children, the rash appears on the face as well
- Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomachache
- Pain and redness in the eyes
- Nose and gum bleeds if the infection in severe
- Swollen and painful joints
How To Cure Chikungunya In Children?
Medical attention on time is very imperative for keeping the child away from complications. Once the child develops the above signs, the doctor will recommend a blood test to confirm whether it is chikungunya or dengue in view of the fact that both these viral diseases have more or less the same symptoms. There is no medicine or vaccination available for treating Chikungunya Virus. Therefore the goal of the treatment of chikungunya is to bring down the annoying symptoms. Here are some effective chikungunya treatments for children.
- Plenty of rest: Make sure your child gets ample of rest. This will help to ease off the stress and speed up the recuperation of the child
- Plenty of fluids: Once contracted the infection, make sure the child takes plenty of fluids to bring down the risk of dehydration. In addition to water, ensure the child takes fresh fruit juices as their antioxidants prevent cell damage due to free radicals. If the baby is of formula/breastfeeding age, feed him or her more Formula/breast milk
- Medications: Doctors would prescribe medications to soothe the pain and fever due to chikungunya. Appropriate doses of medicines like, Paracetamol, Naproxen, and Acetaminophen is usually administered. Any medicine should be taken under the supervision of a doctor. The dosage should be followed as per the instruction. However, Ibuprofen, which effectively brings down the pain will only be prescribed if the doctor is 100% sure that the possibility of dengue is ruled out.This is because Ibuprofens bring down the platelet count in the bloodstream. Dengue also reduces the amounts of platelets. Therefore the outcome can be devastating if Ibuprofen is prescribed without the ruling out the possibility of dengue fever. Aspirins should also be avoided for the children
- Prevent further mosquito bites: Take necessary measures to keep our child safe from more mosquito bites. If the virus enters again into the child's bloodstream, it would complicate the healing process drastically
What Are The Home Remedies For Chikungunya In Children?
Unlike the adult children may not cooperate with many of the chikungunya home remedies. You can pick and try out whatever works for your child from the following home remedies for chikungunya.
- Chop fresh papaya leaves and soak it in a bowl of water for a couple of hours. Strain and give the child two tablespoons of this water in every three hours
- Give your child turmeric milk before bedtime. For this, mix 2 teaspoons of Turmeric powder in a glass of warm cow's milk
- Grapes and cow's milk collectively make one of the best home remedies for Chikungunya. Give your child a bunch of green, seedless grapes and a glass of warm cow's milk. ask him to chew the grapes and gulp down it with cow's milk
- Take a bunch of fresh Basil (Tulsi) leaves. Wash it and boil with 2 glasses of water. Once boiled, let it steep for 12 to 15 minutes. Strain. You can add a teaspoon of pure honey. Give your child this mixture 2-3 times daily
- Give your child plenty of tender coconut water
- Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and give the child once per day
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