Context: World’s first vaccine against Chikungunya has been approved by the US FDA.
- Chikungunya is a viral infection disease transmitted by mosquitoes to humans.
- Caused by: Chikungunya vaccine (CHIKV), an RNA virus in the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae.
- Chikungunya was first reported in Tanzania in 1952 and later spread to other countries in Asia, Africa and Americas.
- Transmission: Transmitted commonly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species of mosquitoes. These mosquito species also transmit dengue and zika viruses. These mosquito species bite primarily during the daytime. It can also be transmitted by a pregnant woman to newborn babies.
- Symptoms: Severe joint pain and impaired mobility and fever. Other common signs and symptoms include joint swelling, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Since these symptoms overlap with other infections, including those with dengue and Zika viruses, cases can be misdiagnosed.
- Treatment: Clinical management of Chikungunya includes anti-pyretics and optimal analgesics, drinking plenty of fluids and general rest. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for CHIKV infections.
- Prevention & Control: Control of mosquito vectors; Avoiding mosquito bites; Using mosquito nets, repellents, insecticides etc.
Vaccine against Chikungunya
- Chikungunya Vaccine branded as Ixchiq, has been developed by European vaccine manufacturing company Valneva.
- It has been approved for people who are 18 years or older and are at increased risk of exposure to the virus.
- Ixchiq is a single dose vaccine and contains a live, weakened version of the Chikungunya virus and may cause symptoms in the vaccine recipient similar to those experienced by people who have chikungunya disease.