Differentiating Chikungunya from dengue
Dr K K Aggarwal
Chikungunya and dengue are both acute febrile illnesses characterized by fever, myalgia and lethargy. Some patients may also have maculopapular rash, nausea, vomiting, and headache.
Distinguishing features of chikungunya include potentially debilitating bilateral polyarthralgia and, in some cases, arthritis.
Although these signs and symptoms may assist in differentiating dengue and chikungunya, clinicians should include both illnesses in their differential diagnosis of patients with acute febrile illness.
Dengue should be ruled out in patients with acute febrile illness and suspected of having dengue or Chikungunya.
Evaluate patients for the warning signs of severe dengue such as persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, tachycardia, restlessness, hypotension, narrow pulse pressure. If present, patients should be hospitalized for close monitoring and management.
Such patients should also be evaluated for other serious conditions, such as malaria, leptospirosis, and other bacterial infections.