Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease that was first discovered during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. Related to Ross River Fever, it's spread by the two mosquitos which also spread dengue fever. The name "chikungunya" derives from a root verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning "to become contorted" and describes the stooped appearance of those suffering from the disease.
Currently, there is no vaccination available for chikungunya.
The International Association of Medical Assistance for Travelers reports that symptoms tend to incubate over three to 12 days after being bitten.
Those infected with the virus may experience the following: joint pain, fever, skin rashes, headache
Treatment for chikungunya is based on symptoms present plus hydration, rest and pain relief. Most patients recover after a few weeks. Chikungunya is rarely fatal and once you have been infected with the disease, you become immune to future infections. Do not take pain killers such as aspirin or ibuprofen as these medications thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.
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Nomad Cassie Wilkins explores Sri Lanka’s Hill Country during a train trip from Kandy to Haputale.