The Chikungunya virus is an infection that can be transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of the infection include fever and joint pain most commonly, with headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash also being seen.
Outbreaks of the Chikungunya infection have been seen in Africa, Asia, Europe and the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans for years, but in late 2013 the virus was seen in the Americas and Caribbean islands for the first time. Because of the close proximity and frequency of U.S. travelers visiting these outbreak areas, many areas not previously seeing the disease are seeing the infections for the first time.
With the exception of Florida, no locally transmitted Chikungunya infections have been reported to date on the U.S. mainland. This means that the vast majority of cases being seen in the U.S. continent are the result of travelers returning to the U.S. from currently effected areas.
There is no current vaccine to prevent Chikungunya virus infection. There is also not medicine to treat the infection, though there are medicines to reduce fever and pain resulting from the disease. Preventative measures for travelers include protection from mosquito bites, including the use of insect repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in areas where mosquitoes are less likely such as air conditioned buildings and buildings with screens and windows.
Physicians: To report cases of Chikungunya in District of Columbia patients, please complete the Communicable Disease Case Report Form
[pdf] and fax it to the District of Columbia Department of Health Division of Epidemiology – Disease Surveillance and Investigation at (202) 442-8060.
Residents: For questions regarding the Chikungunya virus, please contact the Division of Epidemiology – Disease Surveillance and Investigation at (202) 442-8141.
For more information on the Chikungunya virus, please follow these links:
Updated: August 11, 2014