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.
Number of cases increases from winter to spring, and then gradually decreases towards the autumn. Estimatedly about 1,000,000 chickenpox patients, mostly infants, occur every year, though the overall incidence is decreasing (though slightly) in the recent three years . While 80% of the patients used to be under 4 years of age, since 2010 the percentage of this age group has been decreasing possibly owing to the increased vaccination coverage of this age group.