Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease that often causes fever and joint pain. You can become infected after traveling to other parts of the world, especially the Caribbean. The disease has also been found in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Symptoms

If you have been infected, you may start to experience:

  • Fever
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash

Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Chikungunya rarely causes death, but the symptoms can be severe. Most people feel better within a week, but some people may experience joint pain for months.

People at risk for severe symptoms include:

  • Babies infected around the time of their birth
  • Adults who are 65 and older
  • People with medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.

If you become infected with the virus, you are likely to be protected from future infections.

Prevention

To limit exposure:

  • Do not travel to risky areas.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

Review Your Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel (PDF) for more prevention tips before you go and while at your destination.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The virus is diagnosed by a blood test.

There is no specific treatment available. A doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve your symptoms.

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