Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever and severe joint pain that start suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and rash.CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications.
CHIKV is transmitted to people through mosquito bites that bite mostly during the daytime. 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. CHIKV is rarely transmitted from mother to newborn around the time of birth. CHIKV is not spread through casual contact, such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.
Symptoms appear on average of 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms of CHIKV vary from person to person, and can include:
Sudden onset of high fever (>102°F)
Severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs
Rash (~50% of cases)
Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks. Some people may develop longer-term joint pain. Complications are rare, but more common in:
Infants (<1 year)
Elderly (>65 years)
People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.
***Extra caution should be taken by people in these groups to avoid mosquito bites.***
There is no specific medication to treat CHIKV and there is no vaccine to prevent CHIKV.
Using medicines (other than aspirin) to lower your fever and joint pain may help. Consult a doctor.
If you think you may have CHIKV:
Record your symptoms and see a doctor.
Protect yourself against further mosquito bites.
If you are sick with CHIKV, avoiding bites will help to protect others from getting sick.
DCHHS advises the public to use the 4Ds to help reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito.
DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
DRESS: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
DRAIN: Remove all standing water in and around your home.
DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
In addition to the 4Ds, travelers can protect themselves by doing the following:
- Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows or doors.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside or in a room that is not well-screened.
DCHHS CHIKV Fact Sheet in Various Languages
* There are currently no reports of locally-acquired CHIKV in Dallas County.Although local spread has yet to be reported in Dallas County, imported cases make local spread possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally.