What is the Difference Between Chikungunya and Zika?

Rainy season brings many vector-borne Diseases like Malaria, Filaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, Typhus etc. but there is a slight difference among these diseases. Read more about the difference between Chikungunya and Zika here.

What is the Difference Between Chikungunya and Zika?
What is the Difference Between Chikungunya and Zika?
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Chikungunya and Zika both are mosquito transferred diseases but are linked to each other through the commonality of their symptoms. Zika, like Chikungunya, is caused by the bite of the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquito, through which the virus is transmitted into the bloodstream.  In fact, the preliminary symptomspresented by both these viruses are so similar that it is difficult to diagnose on the basis of these alone. The incubation period for both the viruses falls between 2-12 days from the mosquito bite. Both Chikungunya and Zika are not transmitted through breastfeeding but run the risk of being transferred through infected blood transfusions. The severity of both does not prove to be fatal in case of most people. The common symptoms for both Chikungunya and Zika include:
  • Skin maculopapular rash on the body
  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • A sore Throat
  • Muscle Pain
  • Join Pain
  • Swelling
  • Conjunctivitis
Must read: Chikungunya Home Remedies & Chikungunya Treatment for Joint Pains.The difference between Chikungunya and Zika is based mostly on the severity of the common symptoms and symptoms which are present in one and not in the other.

Chikungunya vs Zika

CriteriaChikungunya Zika
Virus Chikungunya is caused by the Togaviridae alphavirusZika is caused by the Flaviviridae flavivirus which is also the virus that causes Dengue Fever.
FeverFever is generally above 39°CThere is a mild fever which is almost always lower than 38.5°C
Joint PainThere is a severe joint painOnly a mild joint pain is experienced
Post recovery joint painIn chronic cases of Chikungunya, joint pain may stay for as long as 3 yearsOnly in rare cases does the joint pain persist for a month after recovery
Lower back painLower back pain is experienced in some cases of ChikungunyaThere is no pain in the lower back area
Gastro problemsNo gastro problems are associated with itZika is said to cause gastrointestinal problems sometimes, which may prove fatal in case of older people.
BleedingThere may be slight bleeding in some people. There is no bleeding in Zika
Red Spots on the skinRed spots appear on the body after 48 hours and that too not in all cases.The spots appear within 24 hours of contracting the virus and are almost always present.
Guillain- Barre syndromeRare cases of Chikungunya suffer from any neurological problemsZika is associated with the Guillain - Barre syndrome which is a neurological disorder. This disorder can also cause temporary paralysis in adults.
MicrocephalyRare cases of Chikungunya suffer from any neurological problems.Unlike Chikungunya, Zika virus is known to cause neurological impairments, like microcephaly in babies who were infected during pregnancy. Microcephaly causes brain calcifications in fetuses.
Birth defects in babiesChikungunya virus does not cause any birth defects in babies.Zika virus is said to cause some birth defects in babies. Missing brain structures, Vision and hearing defect, and poor growth are some of the few.
VaccineThere is no vaccine available for ChikungunyaResearch has proven that both Zika and Dengue can be neutralized by the same antibodies. The vaccine is being developed currently to tackle Zika.
ContagiousOne of the prominent areas of difference between Chikungunya and Zika lies in how contagious they are. Chikungunya virus cannot be sexually transmitted from the infected person to a healthy oneThere have been reported cases of the Zika virus being transmitted through the infected person to the other during intercourse.
Mother to child virus transmissionRarely, but Chikungunya virus can be transmitted from a mother to child during childbirth.Pregnant women having contracted the Zika virus run the risk of transmitting the same to the baby during pregnancy itself and also during childbirth.
Also, read about: Chikungunya vs Dengue.


In both Chikungunya and Zika, the patients are advised to take plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain, fever, and other associated symptoms with common OTC medicines. All mosquito-borne diseases like Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika, and Malaria warrant that precautions should be taken to eliminate mosquito and larva breeding in the surroundings. Wearing full-sleeved clothing and using mosquito repellents also aids in prevention against such diseases.
Tagged in Baby , Nausea , Rash , Zika