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Chikungunya is a virus that spread by the same kinds of mosquitoes that spread dengue and Zika virus. Rarely, the virus can spread from the pregnant parent to their newborn around the time of birth. It may also spread through contact with infected blood. There have been outbreaks of chikungunya virus in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Most people who have chikungunya will have symptoms, which can be severe. They usually start 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash.

Most people feel better within a week. In some cases, however, the joint pain may last for months. People at risk for more severe disease include newborns, older adults, and people with diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

A blood test can show whether you have chikungunya virus. There are no medicines to treat it. Drinking lots of fluids, resting, and taking non-aspirin pain relievers might help you feel better.

In the U.S., there is a vaccine for adults who are at a higher risk of getting chikungunya. You can also help prevent getting or spreading chikungunya by avoiding mosquito bites:

  • Use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent when you go outdoors. Make sure to follow the instructions for using the repellant.
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs, and feet.
  • Stay in places that either have air conditioning (with the windows closed) or that use window and door screens.

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The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.