Dengue Fever has struck Just a Minute. The good news is, it's just a light case. The bad news is that it struck Jack. As a parent, you want to take the bullet for your kid, but you just don't get the choice.
We started hearing about Dengue Fever back in Mazatlan in December. Cruisers in Mazatlan talked about it on the morning net, and some locals said that it was a bad year for it, due to the unusual wet winter the Mexican coast was having. Dengue Fever is a mosquito borne illness, like malaria, that exists in subtropical and tropical area. When an infected mosquito bites, it transmits the virus into the human. Four to 13 days later, the human host gets sick. The cases range from mild to severe, and can even be fatal if Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever develops. The symptoms last for generally ten days but can linger for a month. There is no vaccine to guard against it, the only way to stop it from happening is to not get bitten by an infected mosquito. Good luck in Mexico man, mosquitoes are everywhere.
Four days ago Jack woke up early (an unusual event in itself) asking for ice cubes. His face was flushed and I knew what to expect when I reached out to touch his forehead. But I was shocked at how hot he was. The thermometer read 103! Besides the fever, he had no complaints, just a little headache and no energy. I called Lori on 3rd Day for a consult, since she was a physician's assistant in her old life. She recommended keeping an eye out for Strep symptoms, but barring that just make sure he had rest, fluids, and meds for the fever.
The next day Jack's fever was down to 99, and I was thinking it would be just a little bout with some bug and he would be fine the next day. The next day, he was not any better. And he started complaining about intense eye pain when he moved his eyes, and chest pain when he breathed deeply. Clearly he wasn't getting better. When I next talked with Lori, I mentioned the eye pain symptom, and she just looked at me and said "Dengue Fever."
I was flummoxed! I knew it was around since we know several cruisers who have gotten sick with it this winter. It just sounds so exotic. How could Jack get it? Of course, Jack has been eaten alive by mosquitoes first starting in Tenacatita, then again in Melaque, and still in Barra. So it really isn't a wonder.
The big victim is homeschooling. Jack got one day off for Christmas, one day for his birthday, and now he will get at least a week or two for Spring Fever.
3 days ago