ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chikungunya: I almost died and didn't even know it!

Updated on March 17, 2015

What is Chikungunya?

Some of you might be hearing this word for the first time, for me, it was this year that I first heard the word too. So what is it? Chikungunya is a virus which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the same one which spreads dengue fever and yellow fever. In fact, Chikungunya (ChicV for short) was actually formerly called Chikungunya Hemorrhagic Fever.

Aedes Aegypti mosquito which transmits the Chikungunya virus
Aedes Aegypti mosquito which transmits the Chikungunya virus | Source

Have you ever heard of Chikungunya before?

See results

ChicV explained

ChicV is therefore a type of fever, like the other two, which is passed on by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and causes high temperatures, chills, cramps, joint pains, rashes, nausea, among other symptoms. Not all symptoms affect people all at once and some people don't experience a fraction of the symptoms at all. Once you contract the virus, you are said to be immune. The catch, however, is the fact that a relapse is usually quite likely, especially within around two to six weeks of catching the virus. The virus is also said to linger in your body and can last for years, affecting especially your joints at times. It gets worse.

Larva of Aedes Aegypti mosquito
Larva of Aedes Aegypti mosquito | Source

ChicV and Borderline Illnesses: increased risk of fatality

Chikungunya somehow seems to affect people worse if they have borderline illnesses and could prove fatal in these cases. Since the outbreak in the Caribbean, many people have died because of underlying illnesses as opposed to dying from the actual virus. Some of these underlying illnesses which have proven fatal with ChicV include brain tumour, sickle cell, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. This is also how the same thing almost happened to me. At the time, I just felt that my medication was not working and I was probably stressed, though I wasn’t particularly feeling stressed. Apparently it is the medication which was working that caused the effects to be milder on me.


Chikungunya and Medication: what works and what's fatal

Another thing that makes ChicV dangerous is consuming aspirin-based medication. This has also proved fatal. Likewise, some people are allergic to paracetamol which is what health providers have been recommending unless and until a proper diagnosis is done. This has also been suspected to have claimed a few lives. There is no cure for ChicV, only medication to treat the symptoms.


Chikungunya and DEET repellents

Health officials have also recommended the use of repellents which contain the main ingredient 'DEET' to prevent the mosquitoes from biting you, but research has also shown where DEET might not be the best substance for your health and has actually been banned in some countries. Other countries have regulated the percentage of DEET that is allowed as well as the age group and frequency of exposure.

The need to eradicate the mosquitoes

There is therefore a need to eradicate the mosquitoes and clean up the mosquito breeding sites. Efforts are underway to breed and release genetically modified mosquitoes to mate with and subsequently kill the female population of the aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Of course this method is also going to raise eyebrows as genetic modification is a hot topic for debate.

Recent droughts and subsequent torrential rains being blamed

Notwithstanding, the prevalence of the virus is being blamed on the recent droughts and subsequent return of excessive rainfall, therefore, the need to clean up the environment is great as it would suggest that there are far too many catchment areas in which these mosquitoes are being bred.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I wasn't familiar with this illness. Very educational.

    • Keisha Hunter profile imageAUTHOR

      Keisha Hunter 

      3 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica

      Thanks dear, it truly can be terrible to death. I hope we will have mosquito eradication in the near future.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      Sounds like a terrible disease. Mosquitoes are the vectors for several horrible illnesses, and we are fortunate here in Southern California that these insects are pretty much under control. Great hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)