Chikungunya Virus: History, Geographic Distribution, Clinical Picture, and Treatment

Juan A. González-Sánchez, Giovanni F. Ramírez-Arroyo


Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is a re-emerging mosquito-borne disease caused by a virus endemic to Africa and Asia. Due to the ease with which its vectors propagate, the virus has spread to India and Europe, and more recently it arrived to the Caribbean, eventually extending into North, Central, and South America. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common clinical manifestations are abrupt fever, polyarthralgia, headache, maculopapular rash, myalgia, and nausea/vomiting. Severe joint pain and stiffness have been known to incapacitate some patients from a few days to several months after infection. Fatal cases are rare, but some individuals have been known to develop severe forms of the disease that include neurological and cardiac complications and severe cutaneous manifestations. Additionally, there have been reports of infected mothers miscarrying and newborns that were infected in utero being born with congenital illnesses. Advanced age and various comorbidities have been associated with severe or atypical forms of CHIKF. Currently there are no approved vaccines for the chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and treatment aims to alleviate patient symptoms. The re emergence of the CHIKV and its spread to new places around the globe encourage the development of new preventive, diagnostic, and treatment options.


Chikungunya Virus, Chikungunya Fever, arbovirus

Full Text:


Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
Founded in 1982