CHIKUNGUNYA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     17th November 2023        

Context: The world's first vaccine for chikungunya was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S.


  • About: Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an RNA virus in the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. 
  • Name Origin: The name chikungunya derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”.
  • Distribution: CHIKV was first identified in the United Republic of Tanzania in 1952 and subsequently  in other countries Africa and Asia.
  • Outbreaks: Urban outbreaks were first recorded in Thailand in 1967 and in India in the 1970s.
  • CHIKV has now been identified in over 110 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
  • Transmission: By mosquitoes, most commonly Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses.
  • Symptoms: CHIKV disease onset is typically 4–8 days (range 2–12 days) after the bite of an infected mosquito.
  • Fever, frequently accompanied by severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • Treatment: There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for CHIKV infections.