Did you know? Aches due to Chikungunya can evolve to chronic arthritis
According to Dr Consuelo Silva de Oliveira, the outbreaks revealed an increase in the persistence of the joint manifestations followed by acute infection14/06/2016
One of the main symptoms perceived by those infected with the Chikungunya virus are the severe joint aches. What few know, however, is that not always this discomfort ceases when the virus leaves the body. In some cases, the aches can evolve to a chronic arthritis.
The great Chikungunya outbreaks revealed an increase in the persistence of joint manifestations after the acute infection, according to Doctor Consuelo Silva de Oliveira, clinical researcher of arboviruses and haemorrhagic fevers at the Evandro Chagas Institute.
Examples were reported in the French island Reunion, east of Madagascar, in 2005 and 2006. At the site, cases of chronic polyarthritis affecting ankles, knees, wrists and small joints after 15 months since the beginning of the disease were reported. An impressive data is that only 43% of the cases were completely cured.
“Recent evidences suggest the genus Alphavirus – which include the Chikungunya, Mayaro (MAY), Rossio River (RV) viruses among others – can replicate in the joints and stimulate an immune response, what would explain the evolution to the chronic forms in some people”, said Doctor Consuelo.
Stay alert to the symptoms
The disease can evolve to a sub-acute phase and, in some cases, to a chronic form in which the symptoms may last for over 3 months, and if persistent, joint aches could become disabling for weeks or years. The main risk factors are: age above 45 years, pre-existing joint diseases and moderate joint injuries during the acute phase.
The most common symptoms during the chronic phase are persistent or repetitive problems in the same joints tormented during the acute phase. It is a pain with or without swelling, movement restriction and evolution to permanent deformity.
Studies on the matter evolve
According to the researcher, studies aiming to identify the current therapy potential for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), based in the knowledge of bone loss as a feature of Aplhovirus and similarities with the RA immune response.
“The inhibition of cytokines responsible for the inflammation, as Anti IL6, TNF antagonists, among others, could prove to be effective when treating joint manifestations caused by this virus”, said doctor Consuelo.…