Demographic and clinical characteristics of chikungunya patients from six Colombian cities, 2014–2015

Juan C. Rueda, Ana M. Santos, Jose Ignacio Angarita, Rodrigo B. Giraldo, Eugenia Lucia Saldarriaga, Jesús Giovanny Ballesteros Muñoz, Elías Forero, Hugo Valencia, Francisco Somoza, Daniel Martin-Arsanios, Elias Josué Quintero, Viviana Reyes-Martinez, Diana Padilla, Francy M. Cuervo, Ingris Peláez-Ballestas, Mario H. Cardiel, Paula X. Pavía, John Londono

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17 Scopus citations


In 2014, the chikungunya virus reached Colombia for the first time, resulting in a nationwide epidemic. The objective of this study was to describe the demographics and clinical characteristics of suspected chikungunya cases. Chikungunya infection was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and 548 patients where included in the study. Of these patients, 295 were positive for antibodies against chikungunya (53.8%), and 27.6% (151/295) were symptomatic for chikungunya infection, with a symptomatic:asymptomatic ratio of 1.04:1. Factors associated with infection included low income and low socio-economic strata (odds ratio [OR]: 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0–3.2, p = 0.003 and OR: 2.1; CI: 1.3–3.4, p = 0.002, respectively). Confirmed symptomatic cases were associated with symmetric arthritis (OR: 11.7; CI: 6.0–23.0, p < 0.001) of ankles (OR: 8.5; CI: 3.5–20.9, p < 0.001), hands (OR: 8.5; CI: 3.5–20.9, p < 0.001), feet (OR: 6.5; CI: 2.8–15.3, p < 0.001), and wrists (OR: 17.3; CI: 2.3–130.5, p < 0.001). Our study showed that poverty is associated with chikungunya infection. Public health strategies to prevent and control chikungunya should focus on poorer communities that are more vulnerable to infection. The rate of asymptomatic infections among confirmed cases was 48.8%. However, those with symptoms displayed a characteristic rheumatic clinical picture, which could help differentiate chikungunya infection from other endemic viral diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1500
Number of pages11
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbovirus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Colombia
  • Epidemic
  • South America


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