Chikungunya: The Virus That Infected Over 460000 People in 2023

Did you know? Chikungunya is one of the neglected tropical diseases that infected over 460000 people and caused over 350 deaths globally in 2023, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) [1]. In this blog, we will explain more about the mosquito-borne virus, chikungunya, and the challenges and opportunities for the in vitro diagnostic industry.

What causes chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is caused by the bites of two types of mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus [2]. These mosquitoes are active during the day and can also carry other viruses that cause diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, and Zika [2]. These mosquitoes can be controlled by repellents and environmental sanitation.

Chikungunya: The Virus That Infected Over 460000 People in 2023
Chikungunya infected over 460000 people and caused over 350 deaths globally in 2023.

The majority of countries reporting high chikungunya burden are from the Americas, in South and Central America [2]. Countries reporting the highest number of cases are Brazil (243 176), Paraguay (123 451), Argentina (1 709), and Bolivia (1 376) [2] . This indicates that chikungunya is a widespread disease in these regions, and that it poses a challenge to the public health systems. Other countries that have reported chikungunya cases in 2023 include India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, and Mali [2]. These countries may have different levels of resources and infrastructure to cope with the outbreak, and may require more support and cooperation from the international community.

What are the symptoms of chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a debilitating disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age and gender. The incubation period of chikungunya ranges from 2 to 12 days [2], which means that people may not realize they are infected until they develop symptoms.

The most common symptoms are high and sudden fever, severe joint pain, rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue [2]. These symptoms can be very distressing and interfere with daily activities and quality of life. In rare cases, chikungunya can cause complications such as neurological disorders, eye inflammation, and heart problems [2].

How to prevent and treat chikungunya?

There is no specific antiviral treatment or licensed vaccine for chikungunya [2]. The only way to manage the symptoms of fever and joint pain is to use antipyretics and analgesics, drink plenty of fluids, and rest as much as possible [2]. However, these measures are not enough to alleviate the suffering caused by this disease. Therefore, the best strategy to protect oneself from chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites, which are the main mode of transmission. This can be achieved by wearing long-sleeved clothes and pants, using mosquito nets and screens on windows and doors, and eliminating mosquito breeding sites [2].

Chikungunya: The Virus That Infected Over 460000 People in 2023
The only way to manage the symptoms of fever and joint pain is to use antipyretics and analgesics, drink plenty of fluids, and rest as much as possible.

What are the challenges and opportunities for the in vitro diagnostic industry?

The in vitro diagnostic industry plays a vital role in the detection, diagnosis, and surveillance of chikungunya and other neglected tropical diseases. However, several challenges limit the availability of these technologies, such as the lack of adequate funding and incentives for research and development, especially in third-world countries.

To overcome these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a road map for NTDs 2021-2030 [3], which outlines the strategic directions and targets for the global neglected tropical disease response. One of the key pillars of the road map is to enhance innovation and access to health technologies, which includes vaccine development, mapping out endemic countries, and prioritizing integrated strategies for case management [3]. We believe that these actions are essential and feasible and that they offer significant opportunities for collaboration between health sectors.

Conclusion

Chikungunya is a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people, especially in low-resource countries. And yet, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for chikungunya, so prevention and case management are the main strategies. By developing and delivering innovative and affordable solutions, such as the Artron Chikungunya IgG/IgM Test, we can contribute to the diagnosis and surveillance of chikungunya disease.

Contact our representative today to learn more about Artron Chikungunya IgG/IgM Test.

[1] Chikungunya worldwide overview. (2023, December 15). European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/chikungunya-monthly
[2] World Health Organization: WHO. (2022, December 8). Chikungunya. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chikungunya
[3] A compendium of indicators for monitoring and evaluating progress of the road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030 (2023, January 6). World Health Organization. https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/365511/9789240062863-eng.pdf?sequence=1

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