Chikungunya is a virus spread to people by mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Most people infected with chikungunya will develop some symptoms. The most common symptoms of infection are fever, joint pain and swelling. Others may include headache, muscle pain or rash that can last for a week or longer. These symptoms can be severe and disabling. The best way to prevent getting infected is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
- Chikungunya virus is spread to people by two species of mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito.
- People infected with chikungunya virus develop fever and often joint pain. Once infected, a person becomes immune for life.
- There is no vaccine to prevent infection and no treatment for an infection.
- The best way to protect yourself and your family from chikungunya is to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Chikungunya outbreaks have been identified in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. As of 2013, chikungunya has spread to the American Tropics.
Local case: A person with no recent history of travel to an area with the virus who gets bitten by a mosquito infected with chikungunya virus where they live, work or play.
Imported case: A person who has recently returned from a country or region with active cases of chikungunya who gets bitten by an infected mosquito while traveling and gets sick after returning to the United States.
Numerous chikungunya virus particles as seen through a transmission electron microscope.
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito feeds on a person.
Do not spray insect repellent directly on your face. Spray repellent onto your hands and then apply to your face.
Reapply insect repellent according to label instructions when outdoors for long periods of time.
- Traveling? Be prepared. For country specific travel recommendations, see CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.
- Mosquitoes that spread chikungunya bite during the day. These mosquitoes live inside and outside.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Use insect repellent with one of these active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535. Always follow the label instructions.
- Do you have a fever with joint, muscle pain or a rash? See a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Tell your health care provider where you have traveled.
- If you are sick with chikungunya, protect your family from getting sick. Don’t let mosquitoes bite you during the first week you are sick!