Which Is The Difference Between Zika And Chikungunya?
Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus are the mosquitos responsible for the transmission of Chikungunya and Zika viruses. Even though they both seem to be rampant in some parts of the world, outbreaks are being reported in different areas and hence it can’t be said that there are parts of the world that are immune to the viral diseases. With the recent rapid outbreaks of Zika, more people are seeking for awareness to know the difference between these very similar diseases; there is a very thin line between the two and misdiagnosis is therefore very possible.
Just like Dengue, there is no vaccine or specific medicine for Zika and Chikungunya and usually rest and fluids are recommended to deal with the symptoms. Any medication that is used by the infected is also for the treatment of symptoms like the fevers and pains that are associated with the diseases. But there still exists a few differences between Chikungunya and Zika.
1. The symptoms – Fever, joint pain, headaches and conjunctivitis as well as rashes are the common signs and symptoms of both. However, nausea, vomiting, lower back pain and fatigue can be experienced by those infected with Chikungunya. Whereas the joint pain can be eliminated using proper medication, it seems to be debilitating in Chikungunya cases and it can lead to acute or chronic diseases. The joint pain can actually last for months in some patients and even years for others. It is important to get medical advice from your health care provider if you are not too sure what drugs can effectively alleviate the symptoms to offer you relief.
2. The complications – Both Zika and Chikungunya have symptoms that are likely to subside in a few days with proper care, such as the use of medication, fluids and rest which are recommended for both. However, it is the complications that set the two apart. In Zika microcephaly seems to be the more serious complications. Babies infected during pregnancy or at birth also seem to experience other developmental issues. The microcephaly is a condition share babies are born with relatively smaller brains and heads and it is what makes Zika virus very serious. It is also closely linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome. Chikungunya on the other hand has shown occasional neurological, eye and heart complications. It can also lead to gastrointestinal complications and even though serious complications are not as common, they can lead to death in older people.
Considering that Zika and Chikungunya are both passed from person to person through mosquito bites, the most important control measure is to deal with the mosquitoes. It is practically impossible to control the climate and the impacts it has on mosquito borne diseases, but you can definitely do something to ensure that there are no ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. Fogging, use of repellents and even installing window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out are also protective measures that can help reduce rates of infection. The screens and repellents are really helpful considering that the Aedes Aegypti is an aggressive mosquito and will bite during the day.
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