The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia). Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquito (also called yellow fever mosquito) is the primary transmission agent of Chikungunya Virus. Presence of stagnated water in and around human inhabitation is one of the main causes of increased aedes mosquito population. This in turn causes a large number of mosquito bites leading to the rapid spread of Chikungunya virus.
Chikungunya typically starts with one or more of the following symptoms - chills, fever, vomiting, nausea, head ache and joint pain. The attack is sudden and sometimes it is accompanied with rashes. Severe joint pain is the main and the most problematic symptom of Chikungunya.
In isreal incidence rates fluctuated around 10 cases per 10,000 soldiers without a clear trend. Military conscipts aged 18–21 comprised 78% of the study population (male 53%, female 25%) and career personnel aged 22–45 represented 22% (male 19%, female 3%). A seroepidemiological study performed in Israel between the years 2000–2001 discovered varying seropositivity rates across age categories. While the overall rate of seropositives was 90.2%, this proportion increased with age from 68.9% at age 4 to 96.6% at age 12.Another seroprevalence study in Israel conducted in 2003 among 536 military recruits at age 18 y found a seroprevalence of 94.6%.