If you understood the title of this post you know what this is about…the Chikungunya virus that is spreading rapidly throughout the entire Caribbean. Here is what the CDC posted about it on May 7:
Chikungunya (pronunciation: \chik-en-gun-ye click to hear pronunciation) virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. Chikungunya virus is not currently found in the United States. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. When traveling to countries with chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
I’m not known to be an alarmist, but this has definitely been on mind as we pack to head down there. I also don’t enjoy wearing bug spray from head to toe! Rest assured, tho (Mom and Dad), we are well-armed with 40% DEET and will be applying it regularly. Each of the beds in our guesthouse is supplied with a mosquito net, as well. And, we are bringing an abundance of extra strength tylenol.
Every person that we know who is in Haiti now has already gotten it themselves, had it go through their household, or has family and friends with it. This includes our school/orphanage. Rock arrived in PAP a little over a week ago and within a few days came down with a severe headache, pain in his joints, and a fever. He is feeling a little better each day. He said everyone at the house has dealt with it already except for one nanny and our nurse. I guess that means that Vinny had it, too! I never got confirmation on that- but, it sort of relieved me to know he won’t be sick while we are there- and I didn’t have first hand knowledge of when he was sick so I wasn’t as worried or feeling badly that I wasn’t there for him! Sometimes ignorance IS bliss, I guess. Sounds as if in most cases the kids don’t get hit quite as hard as adults with the symptoms.
It’s all part of the ADVENTURE! Please keep our entire group in your prayers while we are away. And now that you’ve been made aware, you will be that much smarter than all your friends when the virus hits our good ol’ USA… it’s in Florida. And places up the East Coast- so says some reports out this past week. A NY Jets football player just returned from doing mission work in Haiti and was quarantined from his team due to his symptoms (‘he was bitten by a mosquito, his fever spiked to 104 degrees and he had strep throat, so the team told him to clear out’…profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/).