O'nyong-nyong Fever

O’nyong-Nyong fever is an infection caused by the O’nyong-Nyong virus and characterized by fever, joint pains and rash. It is felt to be spread through the bite of mosquitoes.

O’nyong-Nyong means weakening of the joints in the Nilotic language of Uganda.

Where does it occur?

It is primarily seen in Uganda, Sudan, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.

How is it transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

What is the risk for travelers?

The risk is generally low

How soon after exposure will I develop symptoms?

Symptoms commonly appear within 2-3 days of exposure but can be delayed up to 10 days after exposure.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms start with fever and pain or swelling of joints, usually the large joints like wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and joints of the fingers. The joint involvement can last from weeks to months. Approximately a week after the joints are involved a fine red rash develops that is not itchy and is seen on the body and limbs. This lasts about a week and then the skin peels like sunburned skin.

Are there any lab tests to diagnose the illness?

Blood antibody (IgM/IgG) tests and PCR tests are available.

Is there any treatment?

There are no specific antibiotics to treat this illness, treatment is entirely supportive with fluids, rest and pain medications.

Is the infected person contagious?

It is not contagious from person to person.

What preventive measures can be taken?

Take the following insect safety precautions:

 Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn

Wear long sleeved clothing

Apply insect repellant containing 30% DEET to exposed skin and clothing

Stay in accommodations with screens on windows and openings.


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