Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an insect-borne virus, of the genus Alphavirus. CHIKV infection causes an illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever. The initial phase of the disease, which lasts 2–5 days and then ends abruptly, can include fever, rash on the trunk or limbs, and pain affecting multiple joints. The joint pain, however, lasts for much longer — in some cases for years, depending on the patient’s age.
There are no specific treatments for chikungunya, aside from managing symptoms, and there is no vaccine currently available.
Chikungunya can be spread through the bites of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. In 2007, a chikungunya outbreak in Italy showed that the risk of transmission can reach well beyond tropical and subtropical regions.