Symptoms and Signs of Chikungunya Virus Infection

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Chikungunya Virus Infection

Chikungunya virus infection is a mosquito-borne viral illness transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes). Signs and symptoms are similar in adults and children and may include the following: fever, joint pains, joint swelling, headache, muscle pain, skin rash and, infrequently, bleeding from the nose and/or gums. The joint pains can be severe and cause the person to walk in a stooped or bent posture. Although the disease usually lasts about 7-10 days, the joint pain may persist for months in some individuals.

The cause of Chikungunya virus infection starts when a virus-infected mosquito (a vector), while getting a blood meal during a bite, transfers the virus to a person. If an uninfected mosquito bites an infected person, then the mosquito becomes infected and a vector for the disease. Chikungunya virus infections are usually not spread person-to-person except in mother to newborn.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.