By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

UN health officials are reporting a chikungunya outbreak in Chad, in north-central Africa. Between August 14 and 26, 6,163 cases and no deaths were recorded at the health facility level in the Abéché district in the border region to Sudan.

Image/ Vardion

The index case of the epidemic is a 62-year-old farmer who has spent the entire rainy season in her field located in the Abougoudam Zone, about 20 km from Abéché with information of no travel outside the district.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. In humans bitten by an infected mosquito, the disease symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of three to seven days (range 1- 12 days).

Aedes aegypti mosquito

CHIKV can cause acute, sub-acute, and chronic disease.

In acute disease, symptoms develop abruptly and include high fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia (predominantly in limbs and large joints). The appearance of a maculopapular rash is also frequent. Severe forms of the disease are rare. Symptoms usually resolve in 7-10 days, although arthralgia and joint stiffness may persist intermittently for several months.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.