The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia). Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquito (also called yellow fever mosquito) is the primary transmission agent of Chikungunya Virus. Presence of stagnated water in and around human inhabitation is one of the main causes of increased aedes mosquito population. This in turn causes a large number of mosquito bites leading to the rapid spread of Chikungunya virus.
Chikungunya typically starts with one or more of the following symptoms - chills, fever, vomiting, nausea, head ache and joint pain. The attack is sudden and sometimes it is accompanied with rashes. Severe joint pain is the main and the most problematic symptom of Chikungunya.
During the study period, 349 children (189 males, 160 females) were admitted. Thirteen out of 349 (3.7%) of them had serious underlying diseases. Two hundred and sixty-one (74.8%) children (median age: 41 months, range: 6 days -to 200 months) had complicated chickenpox. Among complications, neurological disorders were the most common (100/261 = 38.3%), followed by skin and soft tissue infections (63/261 = 24.1%), lower respiratory tract infections (57/261 = 21.8%) and haematological disorders (24/261 = 9.2%). Children with neurological complications were significantly older and had a longer hospital stay than those with other complications.