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Published:Thursday | December 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Why do some persons recover faster than others from chik-V?

The speed at which we recover from the chikungunya infection is dependent on the amount of virus particles in the blood during an acute infection (viraemia), the range of tissues that become infected, the persistence of the virus or its products in the infected tissues, our age, the presence of other diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, pregnancy and the overall state of our immune system.

After a person is bitten by the infected mosquito, the virus multiplies initially in the skin and then is spread by the blood to various organs, including the liver, spleen, brain, muscles and joints. The range of tissues affected and the ensuing damage that occurs is largely limited by the strength of the immune system.

About 10 to 15 per cent of persons show no symptoms from chik-V and are thought to have strong innate immunity. The speed of recovery in others is dependent upon the strength of the response of both the innate and the adaptive immune systems. Bed rest and nutrition will assist both to be more effective.