Frequently Asked Questions


Mode of Spread

Prevention and Control


1. What is chikungunya ?

Chikungunya is a fever caused by Chikungunya virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which breads in clean water stagnation in artificial containers.

2. What are the  signs  and symptoms of Chikungunya?

One  to three days fever followed by headache, vomiting, photophobia, joint pain and swelling with or without rashes. If the fever lasts for more than 3 days, investigations are to be carried out to rule out the other causes.

3. How to differentiate with other fevers?

The fever will  not last long for more than 3 days. The joint swelling  and pain will persist even after the recovery from the fever. The swelling and joint pain may persist 1- 3 weeks or even months depending on the age of the patient.

4. How chikungunya is transmitted?

There is no direct transmission from the infected person to healthy person. It is transmitted by the bite of  the infected mosquito.

5. Will Chikungunya cause death?

No. Worldwide statistics  and  WHO reports clearly show that Chikungunya do not cause death.

There may be deaths due to various other causes during Chikungunya out break.  These deaths are often reported in the media as due to Chikungunya which is incorrect.

6. Is there specific treatment for Chikungunya?

There is no specific treatment but drugs like paracetamol, diclofenac sodium, chlroquine are used to relieve fever, joint pains and swelling.  Drugs like asprin and steroids should be avoided. 

7. Is there any treatment under Indian System of Medicine?

Yes, effective medicine are available.  The following medicines are being used.

  1. Sudharsana sooranam
  2. Threethoda tablets
  3. Nilavembu Kudineer
  4. Pinda thailam                                 - External use
  5. Karpoorathi thailam                          - External use

8. What  is the situation in Tamil Nadu ?

Now the disease is in the verge of total elimination.

9. Is there a vaccine for Chikungunya?


10. Whether the person once recovered from the disease will he/ she get it again?

No. One attack  of Chikungunya  will give life long immunity .

11. Do we need   a blood test  for all Chikungunya  cases?

No. There is no need to do blood test to confirm Chikungunya.  Clinical diagnosis is enough. Fever with joint pain followed by swelling are the cardinal signs of Chikungunya.

12. How did Chikungunya  occurred after 42 years?

The first out break of Chikungunya  reported during 1963 at Calcutta and in 1964 in Chennai.  Due to the change in the structure of the virus the disease has re-emerged. 

13. What is the status in Tamil Nadu?

The first outbreak of Chikungunya  reported in Vellore on 20th March 2006 and thereafter spread to other parts of Tamil Nadu. The worst affected districts are Vellore, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.

 Till October 2006 there are 64,500 cases

14. What is the best way to prevent Chikungunya ?

There is no direct human to human transmission. The infection is transmitted only through bite of  infected mosquito.  The best way of prevention is to eliminate domestic and peridomestic breeding of mosquitoes.

15. Where do the Aedes agypti mosquito breed?

The Aedes agypti mosquito breeds in clean water stored in artificial water containers   within  the house.  These mosquito also breeds in discarded and unused containers  like coconut shells, grinding stone, plastic cups, old tyres, mud pots etc.

16. How to eliminate the breeding of mosquitoes?

Remove all unwanted water containers around the houses

Inside the house, the easiest way is to cover all water containers with cloth including the cement tubs, drums and vessels.  This will prevent mosquitoes laying of eggs  and thereby prevent mosquito breeding.

17. What is ‘Operation Chikungunya  2006’?

Operation Chikungunya 2006   includes:

  • Breeding source reduction measures
  • Anti larval activities by application of temiphos
  • Anti adult  measures  by fogging operations
  • Intensified IEC activities

18. How Operation Chikungunya 2006 is carried out?

The PHC area is divided into 6 day blocks. Each day block is allotted to a group of health workers.  Every day the team will go to their allotted areas, visit house to house and carry out all the above said activities. Nearly 35,000 health functionaries are involved in these activities.

19. How anti larval and anti adult measures are carried out?

Temephos is a chemical used to carry out anti larval activities.  2.5 ml in 10 litres of clean water will give a dilution  less than 1 ppm.  This stock solution is applied to the water containers  based on the height of the water columns. 

Pyrethrum extracts is used to carry out anti adult measures  by fogging operation.  

20. Are these chemicals hazardous  to human beings and animals?

No.  These chemicals  are very safe for human beings and animals in the dilutions used for anti larval activities. 

21. What are the other diseases transmitted by aedes agypti mosquitoes?

           Dengue and Yellow fever

22. What are the other diseases transmitted by other types of  mosquitoes?

Anopheline mosquito which breeds in clean water like wells, overhead  tanks and sumps – transmits malaria

Culex mosquito which breeds in sewage and sullage  water, drains and septic tanks - transmits filariasis.

Another species of culex mosquito which breeds in paddy fields - transmits Japanese Encephalitis (Brain fever)

23. What are the personal protective measures against mosquito bites?

         Mosquito nets and repellants