“It is astonishing how much worse one mosquito can be than a swarm. A swarm can be prepared against, but one mosquito takes on a personality—a hatefulness, a sinister quality of the struggle to the death.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald
Marina tenderly wrapped her feverish two-year old grandson in a sheet and Gloria rushed him to the hospital on her motorcycle. Braydon, unable to walk, suffering from a high fever and severe joint pain is one of the youngest victims of the mosquito transmitted virus, Chikungunya.
Theresa, my closest expat neighbor on Ometepe, awoke with “tomato face”, an itchy rash which is one of the symptoms of this sinister and debilitating virus. Neither Francisco or Raymond can walk. The joint pain is so debilitating that the skin peels off the soles of their feet.
My friend, Lisa from Ecuador and I have shared Chikungunya stories. Dengue and Chikungunya.
Although Ron and I have experienced some of the symptoms of Chikunguna, we are hopeful that we have dodged the bullet with only severe joint pain and extreme fatigue. But, it is too soon to tell because this bizarre virus comes and goes…sometimes for months.
“Lisa, I feel like an old, old woman shuffling around the house,” I said to her. I can’t wash my dirty dishes because my elbows and hands are so painful. It started with my pinky finger. I noticed that it was extremely painful to the touch and swollen. Then, it spread to my right elbow and wrists. Ron said, “I feel like I’ve been in a boxing match and I lost.”
Yesterday was the first day that we felt strong enough to sit outside in the sun for a few minutes. Marina brings us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our gates on our porch are locked. We don’t feel up to having visitors. Last night, Marina brought me a soothing cream for my joints. I stuck my arms through the iron bars and she tenderly massaged the cream into my sore joints. I didn’t have the energy to unlock the gate.
Today, we feel a little stronger. My joints don’t ache as much. Have we dodged the bullet or are we in for a wild ride? Only time will tell.
There is an epidemic of Chikungunya on Ometepe Island. If you are planning to visit, please take these precautions: Chikunguna Virus Prevention
It is astonishing how one mosquito can take on a sinister and hateful personality. If you are infected with Chikungunya, the only saving grace is to surrender to the virus, take pain relief, lay in bed and watch movies, read, and drink plenty of fluids. There is no miracle . cure. It won’t kill you, but its crippling symptoms will force you to surrender.
Lisa’s posts on Dengue and Chikungunya are the most comprehensive articles I have found on this disease. The Force of a Tiny Insect
If you have had Dengue or Chikungunya, please share your stories on Lisa’s post or here. Your stories and advice may help others suffering with this sinister tiny insect bite.