CHIKV infection can cause a debilitating illness, most often characterized by fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and joint pain. The term ?chikungunya? is Swahili for ?that which bends up.?
The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be 2-12 days, but is usually 3-7 days. ?Silent? CHIKV infections (infections without illness) do occur; but how commonly this happens is not yet known.
Acute chikungunya fever typically lasts a few days to a couple of weeks, but as with dengue, West Nile fever, o’nyong-nyong fever and other arboviral fevers, some patients have prolonged fatigue lasting several weeks. Additionally, some patients have reported incapacitating joint pain, or arthritis which may last for weeks or months. The prolonged joint pain associated with CHIKV is not typical of dengue. Co-circulation of dengue fever in many areas may mean that chikungunya fever cases are sometimes clinically misdiagnosed as dengue infections, therefore the incidence of chikungunya fever could be much higher than what has been previously reported.
No deaths, neuroinvasive cases, or hemorrhagic cases related to CHIKV infection have been conclusively documented in the scientific literature.
CHIKV infection (whether clinical or silent) is thought to confer life-long immunity.