Dr. John Carroll has followed up his email to me with a full post on his Dispatches from Haiti blog in the Peoria Journal Star: Johnny Has Chikungunya.
Johnny Bruni, Haitian Hearts' very valued employee in Port-au-Prince, is recovering from Chikungunya.
Johnny is 27 years old and lives in Carrefour Feuille which is in downtown Port-au-Prince. This incredible city has a guestimated population of 3 million people.
He states that on Wednesday night of this week he developed a headache after going to bed. He also became febrile. When he woke up Thursday morning his fingers and wrists on both sides very very painful and it was hard for him to walk because his ankles were very painful. He had some lumbar spine back pain. He also said his eyes were red.
Johnny treated his fever with acetaminophen and drank much fluid. But his fever and joint pain rendered him fairly immobile all of Thursday. He had no sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, or hip or knee pain.
Yesterday was Friday and Johnny felt better. He had most of his energy back. And today is Saturday and Johnny says that he feels almost back to normal. His fever is gone and he states that his joints no longer hurt.
Johnny told me that he has heard of many many people in Port with almost the exact same complaints. He also told me too that if one person gets the disease in the house, others in the same house come down with it. (A Haitian ER physician told me that a family of four living in the same house in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince all recently developed signs and symptoms typical of Chikungunya.)
Yesterday I went to the orphanage where Maria and I adopted our son Luke. The orphanage currently has 97 children. Our wonderful friends and directors of the orphanage, Hal and Chris Nungester, have 25 kids suffering from presumed Chikungunya right now. And five of their adult staff have the same symptoms. All seem to be responding very well to rest, fluids, and acetaminophen. The kids I examined yesterday have general malaise and some have severe lower extremity pain and walk very stiffly and slowly. However, their joints were not red, swollen, or warm. And I could not find a “focus of infection” on any of them.
When you hear hoof beats in Haiti it is most likely Chikungunya.
In addition, Dr. Jen Halverson has just posted a comment on this morning's first post from Dr. Carroll. Seven women showed up at her maternity program in Port-au-Prince with fevers and leg pain: "We've never had that many women show up in a single day with fevers."