Although most patients recover within a month of Chikungunya infection, it can pass into a prolonged chronic phase lasting many months or even few years. In such instances, fever is not seen, but joint pains and weakness are prominent features.
In older people as well as those having low immunity or pre-existing medical conditions, complications may occur in the acute phase of the disease. They include:
- Respiratory failure
- Myocarditis (diseases of the muscular layer of heart)
- Meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and its coverings)
- Acute Flaccid Paralysis (paralysis and weakness of muscles)
- Hearing loss
- Retinitis (disease of retina of eye)
A pregnant mother with Chikungunya may pass on the virus onto her unborn child. This usually occurs in the 3rd or 4th month of pregnancy or in the last few weeks. Infection is usually mild, but complications are also known to occur in some babies.