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Chikungunya: A Rare Viral Infection

Chikungunya: A Rare Viral Infection
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rare viral infections

Chikungunya is a very rare viral infection spread by mosquitos. It is most often found in Africa and Asia amongst elderly people. It can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can take weeks to develop after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can be mild and resolve on its own or it can be severe and require life-saving treatment.

What Causes Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is carried by mosquitos who have picked up the disease from rodents or other animals. Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti are the two main species of mosquito that carry the disease.

Types of Chikungunya

There is only one known type of chikungunya.

Chikungunya Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Rash
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain


Diagnosing Chikungunya

Chikungunya can be diagnosed by your primary care physician. It can be a difficult condition to diagnose, since the symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Blood tests are usually used to confirm the infection.

Treating Chikungunya

Prevention is the best way to avoid chikungunya. Wearing protective clothing or insect repellant to avoid mosquito bites will reduce the chances of getting chikungunya. If you do acquire the condition, getting treatment right away can lead to a quicker resolution. Your doctor will likely recommend plenty of rest, fluids and possibly pain medications like Acetaminophen.

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