Similarities between Dengue and Chikungunya

Friday, 30/09/2016

We are facing a new threat of chikungunya and dengue with a similar epidemiological pattern. Both are mosquito born virus disease which are quite popular in the current time.

According to World Health Organization, chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease which was first found occurring in an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. Chikungunya is an RNA virus that occurs in alpha virus genus of the family of virus Togaviridae. The name “chikungunya” is derived from a word that is in the Kimakonde language, which means “to become contorted”, and also it describes the stooped appearance of the ones that sufferer with joint pain during this disease.


Also, Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has been rapidly spread in most tropical and sub tropical regions of world. Dengue is a virus disease which is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the species of Aedes aegypti and, sometimes, Ae. albopictus.

This mosquito also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever and zika infection. Dengue is commonly known to spread throughout the tropical region, with local variations in risk influenced by rainfall, temperature and unplanned rapid urbanisation. It spreads quickly and difficult to control.

These two diseases have a lot of things in common as several differences. Both of the virus are clinically similar in a variety of ways with a similar epidemiological pattern. Chikungunya and dengue fever are transmitted by mosquito and are viral diseases. Both of these are common in Asia and Africa. Although, dengue may even occur in other parts of the world likeSouth America, Central America and the Caribbean. Both chikungunya and dengue should always be taken in consideration if there is occurrence fever in travellers who are returning from the countries effected with these infections. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue or chikungunya. Precautions must be taken to avoid mosquito bites, however it can only reduce the risk of infection from it. It can be further in detail explained by following factors:

▪ Geographical distribution.

The very first point is that both the diseases have similar geographical pattern. Both the diseases are most common in Southeast Asia, India, and sub-Saharan Africa.

▪ Incubation period

Incubation period is the time between infection causes illness. In both cases, it usually causes the infected with fever of about 3 to 7 days after they are exposure to it.

▪ Clinical course.

The fever is likely to occur for about a week and may resolve spontaneously.

▪ Symptoms.

The common symptoms which occur in both the diseases such as fever, headache, muscle pain, and rashes. In addition, chikungunya gives the patient severe joint pains, which is one of the main symptom that distinguish it from dengue. Also, Hemorrhagic manifestations occur more likely in dengue fever. Besides these two things both chikungunya and dengue have common symptoms.


▪ Vector.

Both of the diseases, chikungunya and dengue virus are caused by the Aedes aegyptimosquito virus. This is the main reason for them to have similarities. In addition, the Asian tiger mosquito (i.e., Aedes albopictus) may also spread the chikungunya virus. These mosquitoes bite in the daylight hours, particularly in the early hours of the morning and a couple of hours before dark, which is not like the mosquitoes which spread malaria diseases which bite at night. The Aedes mosquitoes can breed in clean as well dirty water .Aedes aegypti is more actively found in the indoors and may occur in household containers, while Aedes albopictus is more often to be found outdoors.


▪ Treatment.

There occur no such proper treatment for both disease. Treatment of such diseases is symptomatic. Though if taken care they can be prevented.

▪ Prevention.

There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya or dengue virus. Recovery from infection usually provides life-long immunity. Though with a careful on look one might secure himself in catching such diseases. It is very essential for us to control such diseases for a better future.

To conclude, there a lot of things that are common in both of the diseases, i.e chikungunya or dengue virus. Both have a same virus that causes it, a similar geographical distribution, similar treatment and vectors, same clinical course, incubation period amongst others.

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