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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


PERRET, Cecilia et al. Chikungunya, emerging disease in Latin America. Description of the first cases in Chile. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.4, pp.413-419. ISSN 0716-1018.


Chikungunya (CHIK) was introduced in The Americas in 2013, spreading rapidly. In 2014, the first imported case was diagnosed in Chile.


To identify patients with clinical suspicion of CHIK and describe their clinical and laboratory characteristics.

Patients and Methods:

Patients with suspected CHIK were enrolled. All were confirmed by PCR, IgM or IgG CHIK. A structured survey was applied, which included demographic questions, travel characteristics, clinical manifestations, and laboratory results.


21 patients were enrolled and CHIK was confirmed in 16, who were further analyzed; 12 were female (75%), average age 39 years (27-52). The Caribbean and South Americawere the most frequent sites of exposure. In 63%, the initial symptom was arthralgia. Most frequent symptoms were myalgias, malaise (both 100%), fever, and polyarthralgia (both 94%). The median duration of arthralgias was 90 days (3-262); in 53% arthralgias lasted ≥ 3 months. Main joints involved were ankles, hands, and wrists; 87% reported invalidating pain. Arthritis lasted longer in men than in women (p < 0.001). 38% of patients presented lymphopenia and one patient mild thrombocytopenia. Two patients required hospitalization, one with severe headaches, the other with acute pyelonephritis.


Chikungunya should be suspected in returning travelers presenting with fever and severe polyarthralgia. Travelers to endemic areas should apply prevention measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Palabras clave : Chikungunya; Chile; arthropathy; clinical cases; travel medicine; arthralgia.

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