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"I'm not afraid of skeeters!"

“I’m not afraid of skeeters!”

(Jama Ecuador) – I remain humbled by a tiny insect.  How many of you have ever been resting comfortably until the hummming sound of a nearby mosquito suddenly went silent?   We wonder where it landed, and if it’s about to take a blood sample!   If there’s a mosquito-borne epidemic in your area, you’ll dart for the repellent!  Oh, I marvel at the power of a tiny mosquito!

As I entered the clinic yesterday, another friend was leaving.

“Dengue,” Patricia smiled.
Patricia works at the corner grocery store, and I wondered if her coworkers were sweating out the same illness.   There seem to be just as many people sick with dengue as they are with Chikungunya.

Most any person in town seems to enjoy saying this new word, Chikungunya.  (Repeat After Me: “Chee-Koon-Goon-Yah.”)

As for my recent illness, it’s not dengue, but it might be Chikungunya, though the doctor seemed surprised that I am now free of all symptoms.

“What medications are you taking?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I smiled.

She looked at me as if I’d just told her that I’d cut off my fingers to stop the pain.

“Nothing?  I will write you a prescription for pain.” (Total conversation in Spanish)

“But nothing hurts anymore,”  I shrugged and looked at my friend Dady and wondered if the doctor spoke English.  (I decided to keep my comments silent, though Dady knew that I had no intention of filling this rx.)  She and I traded smiles.

The doctora predicted that it’s ‘just a virus.’

Earlier this week, Luchy’s bloodwork showed, “Chikungunya,” and since my sickness was most likely contracted when I was visiting him, we’re assuming that the next round of tests will be positive for CHIKV.

From WHO: “Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. … The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia).”

CHIKV first reached the Americas via the Caribbean in San Martin in December 2013; as of March of this year, 1,256,430 people in the Americas have been infected.  It reached Ecuador in early October 2014, and it has quickly racked up over 3500 cases in the coastal areas.  Most of the cases have come from Columbia and into Esmeraldes province.   As of April 2015, Manabi was a close second with over 1,300 cases.  (El Diario)

I am to return to the clinic on Monday for more blood tests, since one should wait 8 days after the fever to test for chikungunya.  No matter what it’s called, I’m glad to be well again!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last weekend the ocean’s powerful waves thundered upriver and rounded the bend.

Mother Nature flexes her muscles when the waves slam the shore and when the river purges, but she also illustrates her power through the lowly mosquito.

I remain humbled.    Z
Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Forces of Nature

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