The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health recently reported on the latest number of cases of chikungunya fever (CF) in the city. During the past week, CHP officials reported an additional imported case in a patient that had been to India during the incubation period.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The eight cases so far in 2016 were imported from India (seven) and the Philippines (one). In 2015 and 2014, one and two imported cases were filed respectively.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the chikungunya virus. It is clinically characterised by fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged for weeks. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. Although one vector, Aedes aegypti, is not found in Hong Kong, the other vector, Aedes albopictus, is widely distributed locally. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon.