Back to A-Z

Alphavirus infections

Mosquito-transmitted alphaviruses causing human rheumatic disease are globally distributed and include chikungunya virus, O’nyong-nyong virus, Ross River virus, Mayaro virus, Barmah Forest virus and Sindbis virus.


Geographic Distribution


East Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Caribbean, Central/South America


East Africa

Ross River

Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific islands


South America (Bolivia, Brazil, Peru)

Barmah Forest


Sindbis (Karelian fever)

Sweden, Finland, Isthmus of Russia

The mosquito-transmitted illnesses arising from infection by the six alphaviruses (ssRNA)
share a number of clinical features of which fever, arthritis and rash
are the most constant and characteristic. The joint most frequently
affected are the small joints of the hands, and the wrists, elbows,
knees, and ankles. The arthritis is generally symmetrical and
polyarticular. The arthropathy is rarely destructive and is usually treated with simple analgesics and/or NSAIDs. In the majority of alphavirus infections, joint symptoms resolve over 3 to 7 days. However, adequate attention to differential diagnoses in patients with long-term chronic disease is recommended as other rheumatic conditions might be responsible for symptoms





Chikungunya - The Rheumatologist

Arthritogenic alphaviruses -

Previous Next