Chikungunya – the new dance craze of the tropics heading to a city near you

Chikungunya virus is a type of alphavirus that has long been recognized in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, as well as the Indian and Pacific oceans. Before December 2013, when locally spread infection was reported from Saint Martin, cases in the Western Hemisphere all involved travelers returning from endemic regions. Since last December, local transmission is known to have occurred in 17 countries or territories in the Caribbean and South America and fears remain high that transmission in southern states is possible. As of May 30, 2014, 103,018 suspected and 4406 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported from the Caribbean and Central American region — more than 95% of them in the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, and Saint Martin. (1)

Alphaviruses cause disease states in either of two general forms, depending upon the virus itself: one is typified by fever, malaise, headache, and/or symptoms of encephalitis (e.g., eastern, western, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses) and the other by fever, rash, and arthralgia (e.g., chikungunya, Ross River, Mayaro, and Sindbis viruses). (4)

Having a similar pathogenesis as Lyme and other bug-borne pathogens, chikungunya is transmitted via infected mosquitoes. In the vertebrate host, transient viremia and dissemination occur as virus is released from cells that later lyse (usually through cell autophagia). Infection with seroconversion in the absence of clinical disease is common, but disease can be incapacitating and, in some cases of encephalitis, occasionally fatal. Though ultimately the virus is eliminated by the immune system, chronic symptoms of arthritis or central nervous system impairment may persist. (3)

Infection is spread mainly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, both of which transmit dengue virus as well. These vectors are prevalent in the Caribbean but also exist in the continental U.S. (2). Humans are the primary amplifying host. Most infected individuals develop symptomatic disease typified by acute onset of fever and symmetrical polyarthralgia; joint pain may be debilitating and long-lasting. The obvious clinical problem with chikungunya is that it is a virus; therefore there is neither a vaccine nor a specific medical therapy and since it can enter the central nervous system of blood-brain barrier deficient individuals, I suggest suspecting patients be investigated.

For those who have read my book on Lyme, you know that I recommend immediate antibiotic use following known exposure. We don’t have such luxury with viral infections so what does one do? Here are a few suggestions that I might offer should you or a patient be exposed:

1) Th1 stimulant nutrients and herbs such as Echinacea, Garlic, Pau D’Arco, Cat’s Claw, Vitamin C, Licorice, Astragalus, Medicinal Mushrooms, Zinc, Elderberry, Olive Leaf, and the like
2) For those who already know they have a Th1 dominant autoimmune disorder, consider things like Colloidal Sliver, Hydrogen Peroxide therapy, MMS, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Oregano, and the like
3) Consider energy medicine measures with the Rife (I only recommend TrueRife brand). One could run the Viral Complex program as well as Lyme frequencies

Again – contact us if you have any questions.

References:
(1) Fischer M and Staples JE.Chikungunya virus spreads in the Americas — Caribbean and South America, 2013–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014 Jun 6; 63:500.
(2) Vega-Rúa A et al. High vector competence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus from ten American countries as a crucial factor of the spread of chikungunya. J Virol 2014 Mar 26;
(3) Monath, TP (ed.) The Arboviruses: epidemiology and ecology, 5 Vols., 1988 CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL .
(4) Rey FA. et al. The envelope glycoprotein from tick-borne encephalitis virus at 2 Å resolution. Nature. 1995; 375:291–298