Chikungunya in a Pediatric Traveler

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2018 Jul;34(7):e120-e121. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001457.


Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted virus found primarily in Africa and Asia. In late 2013, chikungunya virus emerged in the Western hemisphere, spreading from the Caribbean to South, Central, and North America (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63:1121-1128). Symptoms can be similar to nonspecific viral presentations including fever, joint pain, joint swelling, and rash. The diagnosis of infectious tropical diseases in the emergency department often requires a high index of suspicion, given the nonspecific early findings that characterize many of these tropical diseases. This report presents a case of chikungunya in a pediatric patient traveling from Guatemala to the United States. Proper recognition of infection and diagnosis are vital from a public health perspective. Considering patients will remain viremic for up to a week and potentially expose local mosquitoes to infection, it is important to educate the patient on mosquito bite prevention in geographic areas of the United States where competent mosquito vectors exist as a means of avoiding further spread.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chikungunya Fever / diagnosis*
  • Chikungunya virus / genetics
  • Child
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Guatemala
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mosquito Vectors / virology*
  • Travel
  • United States