Chikungunya and Your INR

Publication Date: 
By: Alere Staff


Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes. Outbreaks have occurred in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In 2013, the virus was found for the first time in the America’s and it has since spread to the Caribbean and Central America. Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The virus most often presents with an abrupt onset of fever accompanied by joint pain. From there, symptoms of muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash often develop.

Most people who contract the disease will feel better within a week; however the joint pain can persist for months.

Your Risk and Prevention 

The population most at risk for severe disease includes newborns, adults over the age of 65 and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. If you develop the above symptoms and have been exposed to mosquitos, you should see your healthcare provider for evaluation. Make sure the doctor or nurse who manages your warfarin is aware that you are sick as more frequent INR tests may be indicated. 

The best way to prevent contracting Chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol products. Wear long sleeves and pants in areas with mosquitos and make sure you get rid of standing water near your home that might attract the insects. For country-specific travel information and recommendations, you should visit www.cdc.gov/travel

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chikungunya Virus. www.cdc.gov. November 16, 2015. Retrieved from the website: http://www.cdc.gov/Chikungunya/index.html.
  2. World Health Organization. Chikungunya Fact Sheet. www.WHO.int. April 2016. Retrieved from the website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/.