//Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.

An infected person will typically become ill three to seven days after the mosquito bite, but symptoms can begin anywhere from two to 12 days post-bite. These symptoms can last three to 10 days. Up to 28 percent of people who are infected will not have any symptoms (asymptomatic), although they can still be infectious to mosquitoes for a short time if bitten.

People at greatest risk for severe illness include newborn infants, those over 65 years of age, and those who have other chronic health conditions. Treatment is symptomatic or supportive.

Symptoms may include:

  • Sudden high fever (usually >102º F) which may be continuous or intermittent
  • Severe joint pain that commonly involves the hands and feet
  • Joint swelling
  • Back pain
  • Rash usually two to five days after fever starts

Other symptoms may include headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, and redness around the eyes. In unusual cases, infection can involve the brain, eyes, heart, kidney and other organs.

Fatal infections are rare, however many patients have chronic joint pain, arthritis, loss of energy and depression lasting weeks to years.

Most patients feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may persist for months. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

See a health care provider if you or a family member might have chikungunya and advise him/her if you have recently traveled. Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for signs of chikungunya or other similar diseases.

Updated on: August 22, 2018

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