Mozzie misery

Chikungunya is a word the Makonde people of Tanzania use to mean ‘he who is bent up’, reflecting the fetal position patients adopt due to agonising pain.

It is now a word on the lips of infectious disease scientists as an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus) of the group IV Togaviridae family of alphaviruses, which causes high fever and severe arthralgia.

It has swept through South-East Asia into Papua New Guinea and is now knocking on the door of mainland Australia.

Dr Paul Horwood, the head of the