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Chikungunya Virus 

About the author


Beverley Tompkins

Specialist Travel Health Nurse AFTM RCPS (Glasg)

Beverley is Nomad's Specialist Travel Health nurse. She started nursing in infectious diseases before joining Nomad in 2010 to pursue her career as a Travel Health Nurse. Beverley is an Associate member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow and member of the British Travel and Global Health Association. Beverley is very passionate about travel health, when she is not in clinic she enjoys writing articles on the subject and presenting.

Nomad Travel Health Services

Nomad Travel Clinics

Need help? Please book an appointment or call
0134 155 5061

Using the Nomad clinic services gives you a one-to-one experience with a qualified, highly trained, travel health nurse.

The consultation includes:

  • A detailed medical history
  • Risk assessment based on style and length of your trip
  • Advice on preventative measures you can take

Your pharmacy based travel clinic is all very well but for specialist advice at the same or lower cost come to Nomad. This is strongly advised if you are on a more adventurous or complex itinerary, or have special medical needs. Nomad Travel Clinics are specialists in:

  • Last minute travel
  • Complex itineraries
  • Travel health and existing medical conditions
  • Open 6 days per week

allowing 6-8 weeks for your vaccination programme, you have time to fit in full courses of vaccines where required which provides you with the best possible protection against certain vaccine preventable diseases. If you don’t have time to complete courses before you go, you risk travelling with little or even no protection against sometimes high risk diseases.

Nomad Pharmacy

Nomad Travel Pharmacy has a wide range of Pharmacy items for all your outdoor and travel needs. Browse the Nomad Pharmacy here...


What is it?

Chiqungunya is a mosquito-borne viral infection carried by the Aedes Mosquito. These mosquitos are most active during the daytime hours and around dawn and dusk. When an Aedes mosquito feeds on the blood of a person infected with chikungunya, the virus is transmitted to the mosquito. Within 8 to 10 days the mosquito can then transmit the virus to another person and is able to do this for the rest of its life. Infection cannot be spread directly from one person to another. These mosquitoes can find indoor breeding sites, including flower vases and water storage tanks in bathrooms, as well as outdoor buckets containers and plant pots.

Where is the Risk?

Chikungunya is endemic in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.
A recent outbreak in the Caribbean and the spread of the virus through central and South America is causing concern. Nearly 200 cases of Chikungunya infection in UK travellers were reported in November 2014 by Public health England. 80% of these cases were acquired in travellers who had visited the Caribbean, South and Central America. According to WHO, as of January 2015, over 1,135,000 suspected cases of Chikungunya have been recorded in the Caribbean islands, Latin American countries and the USA.

Chikungunya map


Symptoms can present between 4-8 days after infection. Typical symptoms begin with rapid onset of severe joint pains of the back and knees. Other symptoms include high fever, headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain and skin rash.
Infection is very rarely fatal. Most people make a full recovery, but joint pain may persist for several months or years. A person who has recovered from chikungunya infection is likely to have lifelong immunity against repeated infection.


If chikunguya infection is suspected, medical advice should be sought. Treatment is supportive only with anti inflammatory drugs and pain killers such as paracetamol. It is important that Aspirin is avoided as this may cause bleeding.

Travellers returning home with symptoms such as fever and joint pain should seek medical advice as soon as possible.


There is no vaccine or drug to prevent chikungunya infection. Mosquito bite prevention is the only way to prevent and reduce the risk of infection.

• Use DEET insect repellent on all exposed skin, reapplying frequently throughout the day – apply over sun cream
• Wear lightly coloured, long, loose fitted clothing
• Use air conditioning when available, seal and screen windows
• Use mosquito nets and plug-in room vaporisers.
• Use a clothing treatment such a EX4 Anti Mosquito for Frabrics to kill mosquitoes that land on clothing. Apply to clothing being worn in high risk areas and areas of outbreak.