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Chikungunya is an infection caused by the Chikungunya virus.[1] Symptoms include fever and joint pains.[2]The virus is spread between people by two types of mosquitos: Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti.[1] While the disease typically occurs in Africa and Asia, outbreaks have been reported in Europe and the Americas since 2000.[1] In 2014 more than a million suspected cases were reported to the Pan American Health Organization.[1]

Signs and symptoms

In terms of the clinical presentation, Chikungunya can cause fever, joint pain,muscle pain, joint swelling, nausea, rash, as well as fatigue in an affected individual.[1]


Chikungunya virus, is a member of the genus Alphavirus, and family Togaviridae. It was first isolated in 1953 in Tanzania and is an RNA virus with a positive-sense single-stranded genome of about 11 (point) 6 kilo bases.[3]


Chikungunya is generally transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. Less common modes of transmission include vertical transmission, which is transmission from mother to child during pregnancy or at birth.[4]


The pathogenesis of Chikungunya infection in humans is still poorly understood, despite several outbreaks. It appears that in vitro, Chikungunya virus is able to replicate in human epithelial and endothelial cells, primary fibroblasts, and monocyte-derived macrophages. Viral replication is highly cytopathic, but susceptible to type 1 and 2 interferon.[5]


Clinically, acute onset of high fever and severe joint pain would lead to suspicion of Chikungunya. Epidemiological criteria consist of whether the individual has traveled to or spent time in an area in which Chikungunya is present within the last twelve days. Laboratory criteria include a decreased lymphocyte count consistent with viremia. However a definitive laboratory diagnosis can be accomplished through viral isolation, RT-PCR, or serological diagnosis.[6]


Because no approved vaccine exists, the most effective means of prevention is protection against contact with disease-carrying mosquitos.[7] Methods of protection against contact with mosquitos include using insect repellents with substances such as DEET, icaridin, PMD , or ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate.[8]


Currently, no specific treatment for Chikungunya is available.[9] Supportive care is recommended, and symptomatic treatment of fever and joint swelling includes the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, non-aspirin analgesics such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) and fluids.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Chikungunya Fact sheet". WHO. April 2016. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. "Chikungunya Virus Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment". CDC. 6 April 2016. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. Weaver SC, Osorio JE, Livengood JA, Chen R, Stinchcomb DT (September 2012). "Chikungunya virus and prospects for a vaccine". Expert Review of Vaccines. 11 (9): 1087–101. doi:10.1586/erv.12.84. PMC 3562718. PMID 23151166.
  4. Burt, Felicity J.; Rolph, Micheal S.; Rulli, Nestor E.; Mahalingam, Suresh; Heise, Mark T. (18 February 2012). "Chikungunya: a re-emerging virus". Lancet (London, England). 379 (9816): 662–671. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60281-X. ISSN 1474-547X. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  5. Sourisseau M, Schilte C, Casartelli N, Trouillet C, Guivel-Benhassine F, Rudnicka D, et al. (June 2007). "Characterization of reemerging chikungunya virus". PLOS Pathogens. 3 (6): e89. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0030089. PMC 1904475. PMID 17604450. open access
  6. Cabié A, Ledrans M, Abel S (July 2015). "Chikungunya Virus Infections". The New England Journal of Medicine. 373 (1): 94. doi:10.1056/NEJMc1505501. PMID 26132958.
  7. Caglioti, Claudia; Lalle, Eleonora; Castilletti, Concetta; Carletti, Fabrizio; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; Bordi, Licia (July 2013). "Chikungunya virus infection: an overview". The New Microbiologica. 36 (3): 211–227. ISSN 1121-7138. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  8. "Prevention | Chikungunya virus | CDC". 10 June 2022. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Caglioti, Claudia; Lalle, Eleonora; Castilletti, Concetta; Carletti, Fabrizio; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; Bordi, Licia (July 2013). "Chikungunya virus infection: an overview". The New Microbiologica. 36 (3): 211–227. ISSN 1121-7138.