What is Chikungunya Fever?


The name is derived from the Swahili word meaning “That which bends up” in reference to the stooped posture developed as a result of the arthratic symptoms of the disease. The disease is not considered to be fetal.

The clinical features of Chikungunya (CHK) are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, myalgia, rash and arthralgia. The clinical diagnosis is often confused with that of Dengue fever because CHK virus circulates in regions where Dengue (DEN) virus is also endemic. The most significant symptom is arthralgia which is present in large number of cases. Some cases may develop morbilliform rash on 2nd to 5th day of onset. Hemorrhagic manifestation though not common occurs in few cases and consisted of bleeding gums, epistaxis haematemesis and very rarely blood in stool.

Period of Illness Illness is often acute and lasts for 3 to 5 days. In few cases it may be upto 10 days or more. Convalescence is usually prolonged and characterized by marked weakness and pain in joints.

Morbidity: Ranging from 30% to 70% of population in affected village/ward Mortality: Negligible

Distribution and Epidemiology In Maharashtra state sporadic cases were reported in 1973, 1983 & 2000. Morbidity in Barsi, Maharashtra (1973) was about 37.5%. Recently the cases of Chikungunya are reported from villages Mungi, Balamtakli & Madhi (District – Ahamadnagar), Malegaon city (District – Nashik) and all 8 Districts of Marathwada region, in vidharbh region 7 Districts Akola, Washim, Buldhana, Yeotmal, Nagpur, Wardha & Chandrapur.