Overview Of Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a virus passed to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever and severe joint pain. The name chikungunya (pronounced “chik-en-gun-ye”) is an African word meaning “bent over in pain.”

Commonly Associated With

Chikungunya virus infection

Cause Of Chikungunya

Mosquitoes spread the virus to humans. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on infected people. They spread the virus when they bite other people.

The mosquitoes that spread this disease are the same type that spread dengue fever, which has similar symptoms. These mosquitoes most often feed on humans during the day.


Symptoms develop 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The disease is easily spread. Most people who become infected have symptoms.

The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Joint swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Rash

Symptoms are similar to the flu and can be severe, but usually not deadly. Most people recover in a week. Some have joint pain for months or longer. The disease can lead to death in frail older adults.

Treatment Of Chikungunya

There is no treatment for chikungunya. Like the flu virus, it has to run its course. You can take steps to help relieve symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain and fever.