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Fever and joint pain after traveling? – Chikungunya Symptoms Checker

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease that causes fever and joint pain most frequently in Africa and Southeast Asia. Still, nowadays, this disease is a worldwide concern.

The “Chikungunya” term originates from the African Makonde and indicates “Bent over in pain.” Mosquitoes of the genus Aedes transmit this disease.  When they have the virus on them and bite people, they pass the infection to the bitten people. The one mainly transmitting the disease is the Aedes aegypti, although there also is Aedes albopictus.

Furthermore, people cannot transmit the disease between them. For the disease to spread, there must be a mosquito involved. Yet, there are some exceptions. As in very rare circumstances, pregnant women can pass the infection to their unborn child if they have the disease nearby the time of birth.

Luckily, people can only have Chikungunya once in their lifetime. Therefore, people with this disease develop antibodies (special body shielding proteins) to confer protection after clearing the disease and avoid further reinfection.

In the United States (US), there are both local and imported cases of Chikungunya. Since 2006, there have been chikungunya cases in the United States due to travelers who acquire the disease abroad and return. However, in 2014, there were eleven cases in people who did not travel, all of them from Florida.

A little more than one hundred chikungunya cases existed in 2018 in the US plus its territories. Hence, chikungunya should receive particular attention, as there are already mosquitoes capable of transmitting the disease in this country.

Sadly, there is no specific treatment for Chikungunya. In the majority of the cases, patients would only require general measures. The list includes rest, hydration, oral drugs for fever and pain, etc.

Regarding diagnosis, doctors count with several types of blood tests, either for early and late diagnosis in the disease’ course. It is important to determine which patients have chikungunya because approximately a 25% of them could develop long-term complications.

The tool is a Chikungunya Symptoms Checker. It gathers the most important signs, symptoms, and risk factors for this infection.

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Chikungunya. People need to take preventive measures when they travel to areas where it is common.

Moreover, Chikungunya symptoms are not very characteristic, as they mostly involve fever and joint pain. Also, it shares several characteristics with other diseases that are similarly spread by Aedes aegypti, including symptoms and risk factors, like Dengue Fever. Therefore, despite having the patient’s risk factors and symptoms, the only way to confirm Chikungunya is through blood exams.

The tool does not replace a doctor’s assessment or the necessary blood exams for diagnosing this disease. Still, the tool has questions that will tell the likelihood of somebody’s symptoms because of Chikungunya. Using this tool is free and would only take a few minutes.

  • Question of

    Do you live in Florida?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you live in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have less than two weeks of returning from traveling abroad to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you reside in a country of South America, Africa, Asia or the Pacific islands?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have less than two weeks of returning from traveling abroad to a country of South America, Africa, Asia or the Pacific islands?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Was the African country you recently visited Chad or Ethiopia?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a fever? (preferably use a thermometer which needs to shows more than 101,3 °F or touch your forehead and determine if the temperature is increased)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Does the fever have less than four days?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have any of these symptoms with the fever? The list includes sore throat, headache, abdominal pain, constipation, or pain behind your eyes.

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you are sneezing too much, and you have a runny nose?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have pink eye (conjunctivitis)? [Only click yes if it is in both of your eyes, please refer to the photo below]

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have severe joint pain? [Only click yes if you have pain in several joints (i.e., hands, wrist, and ankle), they do not necessarily have to cause pain all at the same time, the joint pain can migrate from one joint to another]

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Is the joint pain in multiple joints? Are the joints hurting on both sides of your body (i.e., your both wrists, ankles, etc.)? [If your answer is yes to both questions, click yes]

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Is the joint pain mostly in your large joints like the knee or shoulder and less in small joints, such as the wrists or ankles?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Does the joint pain is at its worst in the morning gets better with gentle movement but overtly worsens with strenuous activities?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you have a fever with the joint pain onset?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a red skin rash in your trunk and extremities that appeared after the fever? (It could even involve your palms and soles)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a fever and chills? Did you develop multiple joints pain and swelling with the fever onset, and does this joint pain have days or weeks bothering you? (If your answer is yes to both questions, click yes)

    • Yes
    • No

Written by Dr. Esteban Kosak

Doctor of Medicine - MD Recently Graduated from Medical School and inspired to aid the global population during this situation. I think that we shall no longer be waiting to see a doctor when we feel sick. Several times we feel disease searches in Google drive us to a rabbit hole and come out thinking that we may die of cancer or something very serious, given that symptoms may seem to fit a wide variety of illnesses. Since I recently graduated from medical school. I have all the medical information fresh in my mind. My thorough experience as an expert researcher allows me to very-well known the different diseases and conditions that affect human bodies. Empowered by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). I think that we all can provide a grain of sand to help humanity. That's why we created Symptoms.Care a place where you can come and screen your symptoms and find what different illnesses can be related to them. Armed with the right information you can instantly, discretely, secure and from the comfort of your home talk with a Doctor that can Evaluate your Symptoms and help you seek the right treatment.

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