QOD: What is chikungunya virus, and is my child at risk?

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito borne illness that came to national attention in 2014 when an increase in infections were noted in the United States.

Typically, chikungunya is identified in travelers who have recently returned from the Caribbean - where the virus is common. In 2014, there were so-called locally transmitted cases, meaning the people infected had not traveled to areas where chikungunya is common. Since then, there have been very few cases of locally transmitted chikungunya - nearly all cases have been in travelers returning from areas where it is common.

Symptoms include spiking fevers, painful joints, and headaches, which occur within 3-7 days after a bite by an infected mosquito.

The symptoms usually subside within a week without treatment, and there is no vaccine to prevent the illness. Seek medical care if your child has these symptoms after a mosquito bite, although many other viral illnesses can cause similar symptoms.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2020

Comments

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.