Chikungunya

Chikungunya

This nasty little virus infects its victims through mosquito bites. It causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headaches and skin rashes.

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Key Facts around Chikungunya

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.1

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  • How do people catch this disease?

    When they’re bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the virus.2,3

  • Which countries are affected?

    Chikungunya occurs mainly in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In 2015, however, there was a large outbreak that included many countries on the North and South American continents (see map).1,2

  • What are the symptoms?

    • Sudden onset of fever, often accompanied by joint pain. Other common symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rashes.1
    • Severe joint pain can last from a few days to weeks, but cases of pain lasting months to years have also been reported.1
    • Symptoms usually appear 4-8 days after the mosquito bite.1
  • How serious is the disease?

    Serious cases are not common and most people make a full recovery. But pain in the joints can last for months or even years1 and while symptoms can be treated, there is no known cure.

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit a travel health clinic to assess the risks of the planned trip and get advice about available vaccinations and further precautions.
      Click here to find your nearest travel health clinic and make an appointment: https://www.reisemedizincheck.at/en/find-a-travel-health-service
    • Take steps to avoid mosquito bites when mosquitoes are most active (during daylight hours) 4
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Icaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®, for more information please see https://www.valneva.at/en/moskito-guard) or 50% DEET.4
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers) 4
References
  1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Chikungunya. April 2017. Available online: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/ (Last accessed September 2020)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chikungunya Virus. Geographic Distribution. Countries and territories where chikungunya cases have been reported* (as of September 17,2019). Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/index.html (Last accessed September 2020)
  3. Gesundheit.GV.AT. Chikungunya. Available online: https://www.gesundheit.gv.at/leben/gesundheitsvorsorge/reisemedizin/infektionskrankheiten/chikungunya
    (Last accessed September 2020)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2020. Chapter 3 Environmental Hazards & Other Noninfectious Health Risks. Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. Available online: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/noninfectious-health-risks/mosquitoes-ticks-and-other-arthropods (Last accessed September 2020)

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21-Jan-2021
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