Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Key points

  • Chikungunya virus infection can cause an illness with fever and joint pain.
  • If you think you or a family member might have chikungunya, talk with your healthcare provider.
  • There is no specific treatment for chikungunya.
  • Rest, fluids, and pain medicines might relieve symptoms.
Photo of a person in pain and holding their side while lying in bed.


Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms. Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after an infected mosquito bites you.

  • The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
    • Other symptoms can include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
  • People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Most patients feel better within a week. However, joint pain can be severe and disabling and might persist for months.
  • Death from chikungunya is rare.


See your healthcare provider if you have visited an area where chikungunya virus is found and have symptoms described above.

  • Tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
  • Your healthcare provider might order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar viruses like dengue and Zika.

To learn more about testing, visit our Healthcare Providers page.


  • There are currently no medicines to treat chikungunya.
  • Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medicines can relieve some symptoms.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
  • If you have chikungunya, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
    • During the first week of illness, chikungunya virus can be found in the blood. The virus can be passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
    • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

To learn more about treatment, visit our Healthcare Providers page.