As I had the chickungunya virus, bitten by an Aedes aegyti mosquito carrying the virus while in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, I got to wondering if It was the cause of my current problems; primarily musculoskeletal and fatigue. So I took some time to research this issue. This virus was never seen in the Caribbean until late 2013 and was in epidemic proportion by 2014, the year I was bitten. Much has been learned about the effects of this virus since the epidemic in the French Reunion Islands.
To keep it brief, the effects are very much like the symptoms many of us have in this group, and can become chronic in the older population..60+. The virus is virtually global . The treatments are guess what? Corticosteroids, medication for neuropathic pain, methotrexate with folic acid, calcium and immune -modulating drugs and the family of of drugs in which Rituxan falls; duration and dose determined by severity and symptoms. Fatigue and musculoskeletal pain are the primary chronic symptoms with impaired quality of life.
When a person has had the virus, and blood tests do not match up with symptoms, and there is no alternative diagnosis, the virus is confirmed to have a long term impact on physical and mental health. Thirty months after acute infection, symptoms are still present in some cases.
Corticosteroids and methotrexate with physical therapy for the long term is the maintenance standard. The symptoms do seem to lessen over time.
Unfortunately, only physicians as well as rheumatologists and other specialists who practice in tropical areas are knowledgeable. It is now a global virus. It mimics vasulitis and other autoimmune diseases. The question of whether people can recover to a pre-chickungunya state is still unanswered in the 60+ population.