What is chikungunya

Updated on 2 December 2013

Chikungunya (also known as chikungunya virus disease or chikungunya fever) is a

debilitating, but non-fatal, viral illness that is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. It

resembles dengue fever.







How is chikungunya spread?

Chikungunya is spread by the bite of an Aedes mosquito, primarily Aedes aegypti.Humans are thought to be the major source, or reservoir, of chikungunya virus for mosquitoes. Therefore, the mosquito usually transmits the disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else. An infected person cannot spread the infection directly to other persons (i.e. it is not a contagious disease). Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite during the day time.




What are the symptoms of chikungunya?


  • Chikungunya usually starts suddenly with fever,
  •  chills,
  •  headache,
  •  nausea,
  •  vomiting,
  •  Joint pain and rash.
  •  In Swahili





How is chikungunya diagnosed?

Chikungunya is diagnosed by blood tests (ELISA). Since the clinical appearance of both chikungunya and dengue are similar, laboratory confirmation is important especially in areas where dengue is present. Such facilities are, at present, available at National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune & National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD),Delhi


What is the treatment for chikungunya?


There is no specific treatment for chikungunya. Supportive therapy that helps ease symptoms, such as administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and getting plenty of rest, may be beneficial. Infected persons should be isolated from mosquitoes in as much as possible in order to avoid transmission of infection to other people.


How can chikungunya be prevented?

There is neither chikungunya virus vaccine nor drugs are available to cure the infection. Prevention, therefore, centers on avoiding mosquito bites. Eliminating mosquito breeding.

  • · Use mosquito repellents on skin and clothing
  • · When indoors, stay in well-screened areas. Use bed nets if sleeping in areas thatare not screened or air-conditioned.
  • · When working outdoors during day times, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid mosquito bite.






How can Aedes mosquito breeding be controlled?

(a)  Source reduction Method

  • By elimination of all potential vector breeding places near the domestic or per domestic areas.
  • Not allowing the storage of water for more than a week. This could be achieved by emptying and drying the water containers once in a week.
  • Straining of the stored water by using a clean cloth once a week to remove the Mosquito larvae from the water and the water can be reused. The sieved cloth Should be dried in the sun to kill immature stages of mosquitoes.