Often symptoms of chikungunya in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognized, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs. To discuss chikungunya symptoms, the one which comes first is about the abrupt onset of fever which is frequently accompanied by chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, and rash.
The other commonly identified signs and symptoms include muscle pain and fatigue. The word chikungunya, as already mentioned earlier in this article, refers to the contorted or stooped posture of patients who are affected with the severe joint pain (also known as arthritis), which is the most common feature of the disease.
The joint pain caused due to chikungunya, is very often unbearable and usually stays for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. Therefore, the chikungunya virus can cause acute, sub-acute as well as chronic disease.
Most of the chikungunya affected patients recover fully, but there are some cases where joint pain may persist for several months, or even for years. There are even some occasional report of chikungunya cases with trouble in eyes, neurological and heart complications and even gastrointestinal complaints.
Serious complications are not very common with chikungunya cases, but in older people, this disease can contribute to the cause of death while in children, the chikungunya infection causes no symptoms.
The time between the bite of a mosquito carrying chikungunya virus and the start of symptoms ranges from one to twelve days.