What is Chikungunya Disease?
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to people by mosquitoes and is characterized by acute onset of fever and severe joint pain located in two or more joints (polyarthralgia). Chikungunya outbreaks have occurred in: Africa, Southern Europe, Southeast Asia, and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, the first local transmission in the Americas was reported on islands in the Caribbean. Since then, outbreaks have been reported in several states including Michigan.
What are the signs and symptoms Chikungunya Disease?
The signs and symptoms of Chikungunya Disease are:
It may also include:
These symptoms usually begin 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people will feel better within a week. However, some people may develop longer-term joint pain. While death is rare, some people may be at increased risk for severe disease:
How does Chikungunya Disease spread?
Chikungunya is transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquitos. These are the same type of mosquitos known to transmit dengue virus and yellow fever virus. They typically bite during the daytime and use natural locations or habitats (for example treeholes and plant axils) and artificial containers with water to lay their eggs. They lay eggs during the day in water containing organic material (e.g., decaying leaves, algae, etc.) in containers with wide openings and prefer dark-colored containers located in the shade.
Is Chikungunya Disease treatable?
There are no specific treatments recommended for Chikungunya Disease. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms. Patients should rest, drink plenty of fluids and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve fever and pain.
How is Chikungunya Disease diagnosed?
Chikungunya Disease is diagnosed when people who exhibit symptoms present at the doctor’s office and undergo blood test to identify the disease. Be sure to inform the doctor is you have recently traveled to the Caribbean or other locations where outbreaks have occurred.
How can I prevent being exposed to Chikungunya Disease?
The best way to prevent contracting this disease is to: