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Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a potentially life-altering disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV).1

Areas of risk

map chikungunya

Over 3/4 of the world’s population lives in areas at risk of CHIKV

The areas of greatest risk for travelers are thought to be the Americas, parts of Africa, and Southeast Asia.2,3

Cases of travel-acquired CHIKV have been reported in all 50 states4,5

As more chikungunya-infected travelers enter the US, the possibility of local CHIKV transmission increases.6

Key facts

The name “chikungunya” comes from the word for “becoming contorted” in the African Kimakonde language, and describes the stooped appearance of those who suffer from persistent joint pain related to this disease.7

CHIKV causes large, intense, and unpredictable outbreaks with high attack rates.

When there is an outbreak, up to 3/4 of the population in the area can be affected.8

prevention guidance

As of September 2020, there were more than 3 million reported cases in the Americas alone.9

There may be more. Due to its nonspecific presentation, chikungunya is commonly misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.10

A disease that lingers

of CHIKV patients suffer from chronic chikungunya—where joint pain, fatigue, and potentially debilitating effects may last from months to years. Many who experience severe infection never fully recover.2,11

Chikungunya at a glance

Primary vector4,12

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

Biting habits:

  • Primarily daytime
  • Can also bite at night

Symptoms1,13

Most common:

  • Fever
  • Joint pain

Other:

  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Rash

Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bit by an infected mosquito.

References: 1. Clinical Evaluation & Disease. Chikungunya virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/hc/clinicalevaluation.html 2. Puntasecca CJ, King CH, LaBeaud AD. Measuring the global burden of chikungunya and Zika viruses: a systematic review. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021;15(3):e0009055. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0009055 3. Bettis AA, L'Azou Jackson M, Yoon IK, et al. The global epidemiology of chikungunya from 1999 to 2020: a systematic literature review to inform the development and introduction of vaccines. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022;16(1):e0010069. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0010069 4. Lindsey NP, Staples JE, Fischer M. Chikungunya virus disease among travelers—United States, 2014–2016. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018;98(1):192-197. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.17-0668 5. Chikungunya virus (imported). 2019 final human data. ArboNET Disease Maps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/arbonet/maps/ADB_Diseases_Map/index.html 6. Transmission. Chikungunya virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated November 30, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/transmission/index.html 7. Chikungunya. Key facts. World Health Organization. Updated December 8, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2022. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chikungunya 8. Chikungunya. Chapter 4, Travel-Related Diseases. Yellow Book. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated January 10, 2020. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/travel-related-infectious-diseases/chikungunya 9. Pan American Health Organization. Accessed March 13, 2013. https://www.paho.org/en/topics/chikungunya 10. Horwood PF, Buchy P. Chikungunya. Rev Sci Tech. 2015;34(2):479-489. doi:10.20506/rst.34.2.2373 11. Paixão ES, Rodrigues LC, da Conceição M, et al. Chikungunya chronic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2018;1123(7):301-316. doi:10.1093/trstmh/try063 12. Mosquito bite prevention (United States). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 13, 2016. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/fs_mosquito_bite_prevention_us.pdf 13. Symptoms, diagnosis, & treatment. Chikungunya virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated June 2, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/symptoms/index.html