Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.
The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms. There is no commercial Chikungunya vaccine.
The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Chikungunya.
Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades, mosquito vectors of Chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in a localised outbreak in north-eastern Italy. Outbreaks have since been recorded in France and Croatia.