Chikungunya is an arboviral disease first isolated in 1953 in Tanzania [1, 2]. In Asia and the Indian Ocean region, the main disease vectors are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both of which are particularly resilient and adaptable vectors. Their eggs are desiccation-resistant, meaning they remain viable during the dry season. Like many arboviruses, Chikungunya is maintained in both a sylvatic cycle in Africa and in a mosquito-human-mosquito in urban transmission. It can exist as both an endemic and epidemic virus. It circulates in rural Africa during an endemic state and breaks into an epidemic during peak rainy seasons of urban locations e.g. India [2]. Prior to 2013, autochthonous transmission – human disease arising from within a region, not imported – was restricted to Africa and Asia. However, in December 2013, the first suspected local spread was described in the Carribean, which preceded epidemic spread through the tropical Americas [3, 4]. Between December 2013 and June 17, 2016, the Pan American Health Organization reported greater than 1.9 million suspected autochthonous transmission cases of CHIKV in the Americas and more than 3,400 travel-related cases in the United States [3, 5].  


  1. Khan AH, Morita K, del Carmen Parquet M, Hasebe F, Mathenge EG, Igarashi A. Complete nucleotide sequence of chikungunya virus and evidence for an internal polyadenylation site. Journal of General Virology. 2002 Dec 1;83(12):3075-84.

  2. Pialoux G, Gaüzère BA, Jauréguiberry S, Strobel M. Chikungunya, an epidemic arbovirosis. The Lancet infectious diseases. 2007 May 1;7(5):319-27.

  3. Lindholm DA, Myers T, Widjaja S, Grant EM, Telu K, Lalani T, Fraser J, Fairchok M, Ganesan A, Johnson MD, Kunz A. Mosquito exposure and chikungunya and dengue infection among travelers during the chikungunya outbreak in the Americas. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2017 Apr 5;96(4):903-12.

  4. Khan K, Bogoch I, Brownstein JS, Miniota J, Nicolucci A, Hu W, Nsoesie EO, Cetron M, Creatore MI, German M, Wilder-Smith A. Assessing the origin of and potential for international spread of chikungunya virus from the Caribbean. PLoS currents. 2014 Jun 6;6.

  5. Pan American Health Organisation. Number of reported cases of Chikungunya Fever in Americas in 2016. 2018.
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