Those who suffer from joint problems have a greater willingness to chikungunya virus.

“The symptoms will be more severe, plus you will have more chronic pain. These patients will have the disease for a longer period,” said Dr. Ángeles Rodríguez, a former state epidemiologist.

Rodríguez also added that since the virus attacks the the joints, patients will have greater difficulty withstanding the pain.

“So all those people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other joint conditions are more at risk,” said Rodriguez, but emphasized that the medicines that patients often take for their joint ailments could also help to lessen the suffering of chikungunya virus.

Dr. Ricardo Fontanet, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics said that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are taking immunoregulatory drugs will not feel the symptoms as strongly as others when infected with chikungunya virus.

“Patients that are already on treatment (previous joint conditions) will not experience pain and other strong symptom so significantly, but a person diagnosed with osteoarthritis, for example, is not taking medication (for that condition), will have a lot of pain (if is infected with chikungunya),” said Fontanet.

He also explained that this happens because the previous musculoskeletal condition suffered by individual meets the inflammatory part of the virus.

“When someone is infected with chikungunya they should go to their primary care physician or family doctor to get the proper diagnosis. If the pain limits the patient to achieve their usual activities, they should seek the assistance of a rheumatologist,” said Fontanet.

According to the World Health Organization, chikungunya cause high fever, headache, joint and muscle ache from three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. While most patients feel better within days or weeks, some may develop pain and swelling in the joints. The disease rarely cause death, but in some joint pain lasts months or years.


The above image shows the joints that usually affect most patients with chikungunya – hands, spine, hips, ankles.

Recovered from: El Nuevo Día