Chikungunya in the Americas

Level 1 - Practise health precautions (more details)

Original publication date: February 14, 2023

Updated: May 3, 2023

Current situation

Some countries in the Americas have reported a higher than expected number of chikungunya cases this year. Cases of chikungunya have re-emerged and expanded into new destinations, such as in Argentina and Uruguay. Paraguay is reporting the largest outbreak, with the highest number of cases being reported in the Central and Asunción metropolitan and surrounding areas. Other countries reporting a higher than expected number of cases include Brazil and Bolivia. High amounts of rainfall in areas where chikungunya occurs can increase the risk of transmission. 

If travelling in the Americas, make sure you protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times.


Chikungunya virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It typically causes high fever and arthritis-like joint pain. Other symptoms can include: 

  • rash
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • nausea 
  • vomiting

Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear. However, symptoms usually appear within 3 to 7 days after an infected mosquito bites you.
Most people recover after a few days. However, in some cases, joint pain may last for weeks or months. Young children, pregnant women, and older adults with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of becoming severely ill.
The symptoms of chikungunya can be very similar to those of dengue and Zika. 
There is no available vaccine or medication that protects against chikungunya.


Before your trip
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably at least six weeks before you travel.
During your trip

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times, especially just after sunrise and before sunset. The mosquitoes that spread chikungunya are generally not found at altitudes above 2,000 metres. 

• Be sure to:

  • Always use an approved insect repellant and apply it properly.
  • Limit outdoor activities during peak biting periods, early in the morning and in the evening before dusk.
  • Cover up by wearing light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  •  Avoid staying and sleeping in poorly built housing and structures.
  • Use insecticide-treated netting (bed nets) when sleeping outdoors or when staying in a building that is not completely enclosed and to cover playpens, cribs or strollers. 

After your trip

Monitor your health 

  • If you develop symptoms similar to chikungunya when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care professional. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

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