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Chikungunya, you are not welcome here

  • Published at 05:26 pm July 15th, 2017
  • Last updated at 05:32 pm July 15th, 2017
Chikungunya, you are not welcome here

The horrors of dengue fever are still fresh in our memories.

Although the fever hasn’t left us completely, we have observed the terror of another infectious disease by the name of chikungunya, the bearer of which is the same Aedes mosquito.

What is particularly disturbing about this fever is that the temperature goes down to normal after a couple of days, but the joint pain just doesn’t seem to go away.

The pain knows no bounds

One of my female relatives has said that the intensity of pain experienced in chikungunya is far more unbearable than the excruciating pain she experienced while in labour.

I refer to this in the present, because she has been suffering from it for two months now. The pain is not only excruciating, it is debilitating as well. Doctors say if the virus stays too long in the body, it may even paralyse you.

It is now common knowledge that there is no prescribed medicine or treatment for treating chikungunya. The infected one has to drink a lot of water, fruit juice, and take paracetamols for pain relief. And pray to dear God that the pain simply goes away. But it does not. It keeps coming back.

The disease has been terrifying us for too long now. It has come to hinder our daily life and normal movements. I even know someone who is so terrified of getting infected that she doesn’t go out of her room and stays inside the mosquito net all day.

Careless carriers

On the other hand, you also have people who simply don’t care about getting infected and therefore don’t take any precautions. For example, they would be seen in places where there is an army of mosquitoes. Eventually, they get infected with the virus and when that same mosquito bites someone else, they get infected too. And the chain continues.

It’s almost as if the disease has become something equivalent to the zombie apocalypse we see on The Walking Dead.

So these people are blameworthy in the sense that they didn’t take preventive measures, and thus became susceptible to the disease.

However, are we really so naïve to blame only these people? Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the relevant authorities take any substantial measures to tackle the issue.

One of my female relatives has said that the intensity of pain experienced in chikungunya is far more unbearable than the excruciating pain she experienced while in labour

Do we have the government’s attention?

What’s the government’s role in all this, I ask? We understand there is no cure for chikungunya right at this moment and medical science needs time to figure something out.

But what happened to the “prevention is better than cure” thing? Maybe the government is trying or maybe it is just trying to serve the “important people” in the community.

Someone told me that the people who spray mosquito killer liquids in his area only focus on the house of a certain someone who is politically influential. I think the government needs to pay attention to this point.

Moreover, health awareness campaigns on the disease should be carried out in corporate offices and educational institutions. Everyone should be clear about what needs to be done to maintain cleanliness at the workplace and at universities/colleges.

It should also be known that the Aedes mosquitoes live in clean water. Hence, it is advisable that people don’t store clean water in buckets.

There are a number of other things that need to be done. But, the government and the common people must work as a unified force to end this crisis once and for all.

Nahiyan Asadullah is a corporate trainer of English and business communication at Nitol-Niloy Group. He has a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and ELT from BRAC University.