Dengue vs Chikungunya : Know the Difference

Chikungunya infection is spread to individuals by the nibble of a contaminated mosquito. The most widely recognized indications of contamination are fever and joint torment. Different indications may incorporate migraine, muscle torment, joint expanding, or rash.

Dr. Mukesh Mahajan Created on 26th Mar, 21

Most people in cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur suffer from Chikungunya and Dengue. Dengue and chikungunya are both viral diseases and spread through the Aedes mosquito. 

Both ailments show some common symptoms, including fever and joint pain. If you experience these symptoms for more than 2 to 3 days, you should get yourself checked by one of the best General Practitioner in Keshav Nagar, Pune. At the same time, a person may be infected with both diseases. 


While dengue fever can be fatal, chikungunya is found to be lethal in rare cases. As both the infections have very similar symptoms, so differentiating the two is a must.


Now, let’s know more about Chikungunya and Dengue, their symptoms, treatment, and more.




The term chikungunya means ‘to walk bent,’ and the main symptoms experienced by the patients include fever and joint pain. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes most often cause chikungunya.  It is also known as the ‘yellow fever mosquito.’ 


Though Chikungunya is not considered contagious, it has been seen being transferred through contact in many cases. Only a blood test can confirm the presence of this disease. Vaccines for chikungunya are currently unavailable. 


Symptoms of Chikungunya

The symptoms generally show up within 2 to 12 days, also called the incubation period. The symptoms include:

  • High fever 
  • Severe joint pain with mild swelling
  • Severe back pain
  • Headache with photophobia
  • Muscle pain with fatigue
  • Rashes on the torso, hands, and feet
  • Sore throat
  • Eye pain with conjunctivitis


Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It spreads from one of four viruses, namely the DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. 


Dengue fever is also known as break-bone fever because of severe muscle and joint pain experienced by the patient. The pain feels like the breaking of bones, due to which it gets its name. 


Symptoms of Dengue

The symptoms of dengue tend to show up within 3 to 14 days of being bitten by an infected female Aedes mosquito and generally include the following:

  •  Sudden high fever with severe sweating
  •  Severe headache
  •  Severe joint pain
  •  Pain behind the eyes that elevates with eye movement
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Fatigue
  •  Rashes on the face and the limbs
  •  Mild bleeding from nose or gums
  •  Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and the groin
  •  Decreased heart rate
  •  Low blood pressure
  •  Difficulty in breathing


Chikungunya Vs. Dengue

Though both the diseases are quite similar to matching symptoms, there are some critical differences between them.

  1. Dengue and chikungunya are carried by the same type of mosquito but are caused due to different viruses in them.
  2. Dengue fever has become more common and dangerous than chikungunya in the last few years. But the joint pain associated with chikungunya can last for years.
  3. The dengue symptoms show up within 3 to 4 days after infection and reduce about 3 to 4 weeks with medication and rest. The chikungunya symptoms start with a sudden onset of fever within 2 to 4 days of exposure and can take weeks or months to fade away.
  4. Initial symptoms for chikungunya include fever, joint and muscle pain, eye infection, and rashes. While for dengue initially, the symptoms involve fever, joint pain, eye pain, and rashes.
  5. In chikungunya, rashes appear on the torso and arms. Whereas in dengue, they appear on the arms and the face.
  6. Joint pain in chikungunya is experienced in the hands, wrists, feet, and legs. In dengue, the pain is experienced in the shoulders and the knees.

Treatment Of Chikungunya And Dengue

As the same mosquito causes both these viral infections, their clinical manifestations are quite similar. Therefore, several times they both are mistaken. The treatment is very similar in both other than the treatment of the different symptoms shown by the infections. 


Dengue requires medication and, in some cases, hospitalization to control symptoms such as bleeding and monitor the platelet levels. The treatment for Chikungunya and Dengue is mainly based on symptoms and may include:

  • Rest in the initial stage of the disease. The patients are more prone to dehydration. Therefore, your general physician in Pune may advise you to increase fluid intake.
  • Relief of pain and fever by acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But not in the first three days. Since both diseases have similar symptoms, giving medicines, including painkillers, is fatal in the first two to three days. It could lead to bleeding in a few cases.
  • Your general practitioner in Keshav Nagar, Pune, may prescribe Chloroquine to get relief from prolonged joint pains.

Prevention From Chikungunya And Dengue

Prevention of any disease is better than its cure. But prevention of Chikungunya and Dengue is undoubtedly difficult. Unlike many other disorders, there are no vaccines. The only prevention available for Chikungunya and Dengue is prevention from mosquito bites.


You can implement various methods to reduce the risk of mosquito bites like:

  • Don’t let water accumulate in and around your house.
  • Remove stagnant waste materials regularly.
  • Use DDT sprays to kill mosquitoes.
  • Apply mosquito repellent lotions.


Despite all precautions, if a mosquito has bitten you and you’re showing the mentioned symptoms, get checked from one of the best General Physician Clinic in Keshav Nagar, Pune. A blood test for Chikungunya or Dengue performed at the right time can help you recover fast.