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Epidemic Control Toolkit
for community volunteers
Switch to response managers
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Last update: 2023-05-26

Key facts

Transmission: vector-borne (mosquito)

  • Mosquitoes that spread chikungunya usually bite during the daytime (early morning – late afternoon)
  • Other transmission modes exist but these rarely cause epidemics (for example during blood transfusion or vertical mother-child transmission)

Most vulnerable to severe consequences

  • Elderly
  • Newborns
  • People with other medical conditions (such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) 


  • Sudden onset of fever and chills
  • Joint pain (usually)
  • Headache (sometimes)
  • Body aches and generalized pain (sometimes)
  • Nausea (sometimes)
  • Light sensitivity (sometimes)
  • Rash (sometimes)

If an epidemic occurs

Prevention and control

  • Vector control and prevention
    • Initiate elimination of mosquito breeding sites (for example, remove standing water and apply larvicides)
    • Promote community clean-up campaigns to remove rubbish and cover water containers
    • Prevent mosquito bites by advocating the use of:
      • Insect screens on windows and doors and 
      • Personal protection (application of repellents, wearing long-sleeved clothes)
      • Bed nets for children and others who sleep during the day
  • Monitoring the community and identifying sick people 
    • Identify people in the community with suspected Chikungunya

    Treatment and management

    • Rapidly detect and refer serious cases to health facilities
    • Refer all pregnant women with suspected infection to health facilities
    • Provide psychosocial support to the sick person and their family members

    Social mobilization and health promotion 

    • Find out the specific advice being given by health and other relevant authorities 
    • Model following this advice and inform community members of current health practice advice 
    • Offer support and encouragement to follow the advice  
      • Try to gain understanding about if and why health practice advice is not being followed  
      • With the advice of your supervisor and health authorities, work with communities to overcome barriers to following health advice and recommended practices 
    • Identify if there are any community spaces where women give birth and engage with traditional birth attendants to share information about the disease transmission and prevention modes

    Community-based assessment - questions

    • Make a map of the community.
    • Mark the following information on the map:
      • How many people have fallen sick with chikungunya? Where? When?
      • Who and where are the vulnerable people?
      • Where are the local health facilities and services? (include traditional healers)
      • Where do women give birth? (include traditional birth attendants)
    • Record the following information on the back of the map:
      • When did people start to fall sick with chikungunya? 
      • How many people live in the affected community? How many are children under five years of age?
      • Do people generally cover their water containers (inside and outside)? Who is responsible for the maintenance of containers for household drinking water and for vessels to do laundry; is it women or men?
      • How common is it for people to live in houses with insect screens on windows and doors? 
      • How common is it for people who sleep during the daytime (for example, babies and small children) to sleep under bed nets?
      • Are children badly affected by chikungunya? Are there other groups (specific ages, occupations, geographic areas, etc.) that are badly affected? 
      • What are the community’s habits, practices and beliefs regarding use of repellents, sprays, etc.?
      • Have the authorities established a vector control programme?
      • Is a social mobilization or health promotion programme in place?
      • Which sources do people use/trust the most for information?
        • Are there rumours or misinformation about chikungunya? What are the rumours?
      • Who spends more time in the household during the day (and is more exposed to the mosquito bite)? Women, or men, or both?