Chikungunya is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes. Chikungunya symptoms include severe and persistent joint pain, body rash, headache and fever. Initial symptoms are similar to dengue fever. It is usually NOT life threatening. But the joint pains can last for a long time and full recovery may take months. Usually patient gets life long immunity from infection and hence re-infection is very rare.
Chikungunya(pronounced as chiki-en-GUN-yah) disease was first detected in 1952 in africa at a place called Makonde Plateau. This is a border area between Tanzania and Mozambique. The name “chikungunya” is from the Makonde language and its meaning is “that which bends up”. This is a reference to the Chikungunya symptom where patients walk in a stooped posture due to joint pain. Chikungunya is also known as Chicken guinea, Chicken gunaya and Chickengunya. The presence of the word Chicken has also lead to a lot of misconceptions about the disease.