As per a new research by scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, not only symptoms but blood tests of patients infected with the Chikungunya virus and those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis can reveal similar results.
This confusion can prove taxing for patients as if they are suffering from Chikungunya, they might be misdiagnosed and treated for rheumatoid arthritis. The news has raised concerns among health officials as already a rise has been noticed in infections among Americans.
The researchers said while they studied patients, who have recently acquired Chikungunya in Haiti, they were able to notice how symptoms of both the disease and blood tests can be confused.
“All eight patients with Chikungunya-related arthritis met the American College of Rheumatology’s criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis”, said study’s lead author Jonathan Miner.
Chikungunya leads to many symptoms like rash and fever, but they subside after a few days. But acute joint pain can last many months and may be longer than a year. The researchers said the best way would be to check travel history of patients.
Recent trips to the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa, India or other areas where the virus can be found should raise the doubt of Chikungunya infection.