• Chikungunya

    (Chikungunya fever)

    Definition

    Chikungunya is an infection spread by a bite from an infected mosquito.

    Causes

    Chikungunya is caused by a virus.
    Virus
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Risk Factors

    The greatest risk factors for chikungunya are spending time in areas where chikungunya outbreaks have occurred, such as:
    • Africa
    • Southern Europe
    • Southeast Asia
    • Islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
    • Islands in the Caribbean Sea
    In 2014, chikungunya was reported among US travelers returning from affected areas. Local transmission of chikungunya occurred in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms begin 3-7 days after infection and may include:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Joint pain, often in the hands and feet
    • Joint swelling
    • Muscle pain
    • Rash

    Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will be asked whether you have recently travelled to areas where chikungunya outbreaks have occurred.
    Your bodily fluids may be tested for the presence of the virus or antibodies. Antibodies are created by your body in response to an infection. The virus and antibodies can be found with blood tests. Other blood tests may be done to look for complications.

    Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

    Supportive Care

    Antibiotics are not needed because the chikungunya is caused by a virus, not bacteria. The goal is to ease the symptoms so that you feel more comfortable while the immune system fights the virus.
    Rest and medication will help manage symptoms until the virus has passed. Also, drink plenty of liquids to help keep nasal fluid thin and easy to clear.
    Hospitalization may be required in severe cases to help manage symptoms.

    Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of a chikungunya infection:
    • If possible, avoid travel to areas where chikungunya outbreaks are occurring.
    • Stay inside when mosquitoes are most active (at dawn and at dusk).
    • Repair screens on your windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your house.
    • Use proper mosquito netting at night. Look for netting treated with insecticide.
    • When outside, wear insect repellent, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts to limit exposure to bites.
    • Eliminate insect breeding areas. These may include areas of standing water, like pet water bowls, rain barrels, and other containers.

    RESOURCES

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

    World Health Organization http://www.who.int

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

    Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

    References

    Chikungunya. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/CHIKV%5FFACTSHEET%5FCDC%5FGeneralpublic(09-17-2014).pdf. Updated September 17, 2014. Accessed November 11, 2015.

    Chikungunya. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en. Updated May 2015. Accessed November 11, 2015.

    Chikungunya fever. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T161709/Chikungunya-fever. Updated August 16, 2016. Accessed October 3, 2016.

    Chikungunya fever (CHIK). Florida Health website. Available at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/chikungunya/index.html. Accessed November 11, 2015.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.