Well, the bad news is that we caught Chickungunya. It was horrible! On Thursday, I noticed the rash and just about died knowing what was coming. Sure enough, the fever and bone pain followed; even my teeth hurt. On Saturday I started to feel better and then my companion got it. I think she had it even worse than I did. From what I've heard, the virus stays in the body from for about a year but is dormant. I am getting the rash again so I hope I don't repeat.
We only were able to go to 20 minutes of church and then decided to leave because Hermana Gingell's fever was too high. I have now missed two Sundays due to Chickungunya. I feel like an inactive missionary!
It was rough not getting to email you all on Monday. I don't know how you survived the mission back in the day - without email!
This week we had a Mission President switch. I have loved the Hernandez's and am going to miss them. It will be interesting to see the changes that happen due to a new president.
I apologize that I write about Chickungunya every week but it is really disrupting the work.
I am printing out your emails and am super excited to read them. I hope you have a great week. love you so much
LOVE YOU xoxox
What In The World Is Chikungunya?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting a rise in U.S. cases of a painful new virus.
Chikungunya (which is pronounced chick-en-gun-ye) triggers a very painful but seldom fatal illness, and is already common in central and southern Africa, southern Asia and has recently spread to 17 countries in the Caribbean. Cases have also been reported in Italy and France.
As of June 17, 80 cases have been reported in 13 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, the CDC says. Puerto Rico has 23 locally-transmitted cases; all of the others are travel-associated, in people returning from the Caribbean or Asia. Health departments in Tennessee and Georgia have also reported cases.
“We do anticipate that there could be local transmission of the virus, particularly now as we are coming into summer when mosquitoes are active,” said Dr. Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. She said that few people in the United States have been exposed to chikungunya, “so no one is really immune.”
The virus is spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which pick up the virus by biting an infected person. Someone infected outside the United States who brings the virus back will likely, at some point, be bitten by a mosquito and then the virus will be passed on to the next person that mosquito bites.
The chikungunya virus causes high fevers, joint pain and swelling, headaches and a rash – people often first associate the symptoms as being flu-like. For some people, the sometimes-debilitating pain can last even after other symptoms disappear. Doctors say that a high percentage of those infected become sick – over 90% of those bitten will develop symptoms.
Those most at risk of a severe infection include newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
As of yet, there are no special treatments available. Typically, fever-reducing medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are given to help alleviate pain.