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- A single stranded RNA virus (genus Alphavirus; family Togaviridae)
- Transmitted by Aedes spp. mosquitoes
- The average incubation period is 2 to 4 days (range 1 to 12 days), followed by the sudden onset of fever, severe arthralgia and myalgia, headaches, photophobia, and a rash (1).
- Clinical signs and symptoms are similar to dengue and Zika virus infection.
- Originally confined to Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, the disease has spread to Europe and the Americas.
- 2005 to 2014: India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, and Thailand had over 1.9 million cases.
- 2013: Transmission of chikungunya virus in the Americas was first identified in the Caribbean and has spread to 45 countries.
- 2014: Local transmission was identified in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- 2015 to 2016: One local transmission reported from United States; ongoing transmission in U.S. territories
- 2017: No local transmission reported from United States
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Bite from Aedes spp. mosquitoes (especially Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus)
- A. aegypti also transmits dengue and Zika virus. Coinfection with dengue and/or Zika is possible and increasingly reported.
- Aggressive daytime feeders; bites also occur at night.
- Other modes of transmission: maternal–fetal (2); blood transfusion; corneal grafts (3)
- Pathogenesis is uncertain.
- Mother-to-child transmission is seen with intrapartum maternal viremia, often leading to severe neonatal infection, mainly encephalopathy (2).
- Cesarean section with no protective effect on transmission
- Median onset of neonatal disease is 4 days (range 3 to 7 days); with fever (100% of cases) and thrombocytopenia (89% of cases)
- There is no evidence for congenital infection in asymptomatic live-born infants exposed during pregnancy (4).
People living in, or travelling to, an endemic area, not previously infected
- No vaccine or antiviral currently available
- Prevention through use of insect repellants, arthropod control measures, and clothing that minimizes skin exposure, especially during daytime hours