Chikungunya virus causes the infection. It is passed to people from the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be passed from one person to another.

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Risk Factors

The risk of getting the virus is highest in areas where outbreaks have happened, such as:

  • Africa
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southern Europe
  • Islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • Caribbean islands



Symptoms begin 3 to 7 days after infection and may include:

  • High fever
  • Severe joint pain
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red, irritated eyes


The doctor will ask about symptoms, past health, and travel history. A physical exam will be done.

Blood tests will be done to look for signs of the infection.



There is no treatment. The goal is to manage symptoms. Hospital care may be needed if symptoms are severe.

Supportive care options are:

  • Rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Pain relievers


The risk of a chikungunya infection may be lowered by:

  • Avoiding travel to areas with outbreaks
  • Avoiding mosquito bites by:
    • Using insect repellent
    • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants that have been treated with insect repellent
    • Taking steps to control mosquitos indoors and outdoors, such as with screens and netting and by emptying any containers that may contain water where mosquitos could breed

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.