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Chikungunya (in the Makonde language "that which bends up") virus (CHIKV) is an insect-borne virus, of the genus, Alphavirus, that is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes. There have been recent outbreaks of CHIKV associated with severe morbidity. CHIKV causes an illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever. CHIKV manifests itself with an acute febrile phase of the illness lasts only two to five days, followed by a prolonged arthralgic disease that affects the joints of the extremities. The pain associated with CHIKV infection of the joints persists for weeks or months.
Signs and symptoms
The incubation period of Chikungunya disease is from two to four days. Symptoms of the disease include a fever up to 39 ℃ (102.2 ℉), a petechial or maculopapular rash of the trunk and occasionally the limbs, and arthralgia or arthritis affecting multiple joints.Other nonspecific symptoms can include headache, conjunctival injection, and slight photophobia. Typically, the fever lasts for two days and then ends abruptly. However, other symptoms, namely joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration last for a variable period; usually for about 5 to 7 days.Patients have complained of joint pains for much longer time periods depending on their age.