6 Bizarre Odes to Chikungunya, the Mosquito-Borne Virus Taking Over Latin America

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Chikungunya is similar to dengue, a virus transmitted through mosquitoes that’s common throughout the Caribbean. Discovered in the Americas for the first time in 2013, it has already affected thousands of people. Chikungunya usually puts people out for a week or so, plaguing its victims with achy joint pains. Although the symptoms are painful, bizarrely enough, artists throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have decided to reclaim the virus and make silly songs about the illness. Dominican artists have created bachatas and dembow songs while Colombianos made salsa chokes as odes to the mosquito-borne disease affecting their countries. If you’ve ever had Chikungunya, you can most definitely relate to these songs.

In sum: nuestra gente have a knack for dancing their way out of everything, through sickness and health.


K2 La Para Musical - "La Chikunguya"

Le dio la vaina rara and he ain’t ashamed! K2 La Para Musical, a low-key Dominican artist, has created a dembow for those whose have been infected by Chikungunya.


Wayne J - "Chikungunya (One Panadol)"

If you’re more into the dancehall scene, all you need is one Panadol (ibuprofen) and you can get hip, like Jamaican youngin’ Wayne J.


El Maldito Brujo - "El Chikungunya"

If you’re on the salsa choke wave, you already know the genre’s songs are silly. El Maldito Brujo has lyrics describing the symptoms and a chorus telling you not to scratch your picadas.


Los Kingver de Guerrero - "La Chikunguya"

Los Kingver de Guerrero recorded a cumbia for los mexicanos, who have actually been affected by Chikunguya a lot more recently. It’s estimated that at least 7,000 Mexicans have already gotten infected. Una cumbia will surely help them feel a bit better.


Secretaría de Salud de Sinaloa - "Chikungunya: Espántalo y que huya”

Yo, even the government is in on this. With this state-sponsored reggaeton, the solution is to dance your pain away, or just espántalo y que huya.


Raymond y Miguel - "La Chikungunya"

If you and your boo got Chikungunya, this catchy bachata might let you forget this song is even about the illness. The band’s hilarious outfits might help too.