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O'nyong-nyong (ONN) fever, caused by infection with a mosquito-borne central African alphavirus, is an acute, nonfatal illness characterized by polyarthralgia. During 1996-1997, south-central Uganda experienced the second ONN fever epidemic ever recognized. Among 391 persons interviewed and sampled, 40 cases of confirmed and 21 of presumptive, well-characterized acute, recent, or previous ONN fever were identified through active case-finding efforts or during a household serosurvey and by the application of clinical and laboratory criteria. Among confirmed cases, the knees and ankles were the joints most commonly affected. The median duration of arthralgia was 6 days (range, 2-21 days) and of immobilization was 4 days (range, 1-14 days). In the majority, generalized skin rash was reported, and nearly half had lymphadenopathy, mainly of the cervical region. Viremia was documented in 16 cases, primarily during the first 3 days of illness, and in some of these, body temperature was normal. During this epidemic, the combination of fever, arthralgia, and lymphadenopathy had a specificity of 83% and a sensitivity of 61% in the identification of cases of ONN fever and thus could be useful for surveillance purposes.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





1243 - 1250


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alphavirus Infections, Antibodies, Viral, Arthralgia, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Fever, Humans, Immunoglobulin M, Lymphatic Diseases, Male, Middle Aged