Treatment & Prevention
No specific antiviral treatment is available for chikungunya; however, a number of therapeutic options are being investigated. Treatment for symptoms can include rest, fluids, and use of analgesics and antipyretics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to help with acute fever and pain. In dengue-endemic areas, however, acetaminophen is the preferred first-line treatment for fever and joint pain until dengue can be ruled out, to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. For patients with persistent joint pain, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids including topical preparations, and physical therapy may help lessen the symptoms.
People infected with chikungunya should be protected from further mosquito exposure during the first week of illness to reduce the risk of local transmission.
No chikungunya vaccines are currently licensed for use in humans though several are currently in Phase III clinical trials. In the absence of a vaccine, prevention of chikungunya virus disease depends on community-level mosquito control programs to reduce vector densities, and personal protective measures to decrease exposure to infected mosquitoes.
Personal protective measures include use of insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Travelers should choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors. More information on personal protective measures can be found here.
Travelers at increased risk for more severe disease, including travelers with underlying medical conditions and women late in their pregnancy (as their fetuses are at increased risk), might consider avoiding travel to areas with ongoing outbreaks. If travel is unavoidable, emphasize the need for taking protective measures against mosquito bites.
People suspected to have chikungunya virus infection should take steps to protect from further mosquito exposure during the first week of illness to reduce the risk of further transmission.