What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya is a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito bites during the day and is most active at sunrise and sunset. It can bite even in shady areas and indoors. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and a rash. Joint pain may last for days to months. Rarely, people may have heart, neurological or gastrointestinal complications. There is no vaccine to protect travellers so insect precautions should be followed. Similar measures protect against other insect-carried infections.
- Cover skin with long sleeve shirts and pants. Consider treating outer clothing with permethrin product.
- Wear light or medium-coloured clothing and avoid scented soaps and deodorants.
- Apply insect repellent that contains either 30% DEET or 20% Icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing.
- Nets should be used over cots, playpens and strollers to protect infants.
- Present to an emergency department if you are acutely ill with fever after travel.
- For health information 24 hours a day, call 811 in Alberta for advice from Health Link.
- Inform your family doctor if you experience the symptoms above, up to 2 weeks after travel to a country with risk of chikungunya transmission.
- Contact us for a post-travel assessment at our Market Mall Executive Building location.