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Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted viral illness with clinical hallmarks of rash, fever, arthralgia, and myalgia. It is rarely fatal, although vulnerable populations, to include elderly, children, and those with multiple comorbid illnesses, are more susceptible to severe infection and death. There have been multiple areas of the world with periodic chikungunya epidemics. With increased immigration, foreign travel, epidemics, and global spread of the virus, it is prudent to consider chikungunya as a diagnosis both clinically and postmortem when a patient presents with rash, fevers, and arthralgia. We present a case of a patient with recent foreign travel, a rash, fever, and arthralgia with mosquito bites who succumbed to chikungunya viral infection with pneumonia. His diagnosis was established postmortem. A review of the literature is included in this report. This case stresses the delayed time to diagnose chikungunya with serologic testing and the importance of using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to aid in rapid and accurate diagnosis and management.


Jo Marie Reilly, Wenxue Xing, Vladimir Levicky, Sami Souccar, Christopher Rogers, Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran. Postmortem Chikungunya Diagnosis: A Case Report and Literature Review. The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology. 2020 Mar;41(1):48-51

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PMID: 31977345

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