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Ixchiq Vaccine for Chikungunya

  • 20 Nov 2023
  • 4 min read

Source: TH

Why in News? 

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States approved the world's inaugural vaccine for chikungunya

  • This novel vaccine, named Ixchiq and developed by European vaccine manufacturer Valneva, marks a significant leap in combating the chikungunya virus (CHIKV).

What are the Key Features of Ixchiq Vaccine? 

  • It is administered as a single dose via injection into the muscle. It contains a live, weakened version of the chikungunya virus, potentially causing symptoms akin to the disease in vaccine recipients.
  • The vaccine has been approved for administration in people who are 18 years or older, and are at increased risk of exposure to the virus.

What is Chikungunya? 

  • About: Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease. It was first recognized in 1952 during an outbreak in southern Tanzania. 
  • Symptoms: Chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain, which is often debilitating and varies in duration. 
    • Dengue and Zika have similar symptoms to chikungunya, making chikungunya easy to misdiagnose.

Note: The term "chikungunya" originates from the Kimakonde language (spoken by the Makonde people, an ethnic group of Tanzania and Mozambique), translating to "to become contorted," illustrating the stooped posture of individuals experiencing severe joint pain.

  • Transmission: Chikungunya is transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. 
    • Most commonly, the mosquitoes involved are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus
    • These two species can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue
      • They bite throughout daylight hours, although there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. 
  • Prevalence: According to WHO, It is prevalent in Africa, Asia, and the Americas; but sporadic outbreaks have been reported in other regions.
  • Treatment Options: Presently, there is no cure for chikungunya, with symptomatic relief being the primary approach. Treatment involves the use of analgesics, antipyretics, rest, and adequate fluid intake.
  • Prevention Strategies: Prevention primarily revolves around mosquito control activities, including public health outreach, civic maintenance, use of medicated mosquito nets, and eliminating water stagnation to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Related Indian Government Initiatives: 

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Prelims

Q.1 Consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. In tropical regions, Zika virus disease is transmitted by the same mosquito that transmits dengue.
  2. Sexual transmission of Zika virus disease is possible.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Q.2 ‘Wolbachia method’ is sometimes talked about with reference to which one of the following? (2023)

(a) Controlling the viral diseases spread by mosquitoes

(b) Converting crop residues into packing material

(c) Producing biodegradable plastics

(d) Producing biochar from thermo-chemical conversion of biomass

Ans: (a)

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