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.
Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is one of the most infectious viruses; 80-90% of exposed seronegative persons will develop varicella disease (chickungunya). In the Netherlands, 49% of 2-years-old children have had chickenpox. This seroprevalence increases to 93% for 5-years-olds, and 98% for those over 6 years of age (De Melker et al., 2006). The vast majority of the cases occurs during childhood and has only mild symptoms: fever and generalized pruritic rash. The most frequent complication is bacterial superinfection of the skin, lungs or bones. In individuals with decreased immunity, chickenpox may have a more severe course with serious morbidity and even mortality.