I've received more email from Dr. Jen Halverson about chikungunya in Haiti, and she's allowed me to post it here:
I thought you might find this interesting (and sad). We have a 5 day old baby at the maternity center with probable vertically acquired chikungunya. His mom had very typical chikungunya symptoms during labor and delivery. He developed fevers around day 2 of life, then hypoglycemia (which is now resolved after D10 and syringe feeding), and last night he developed seizures.
I am not in Haiti now--the midwives at the maternity center sent me videos and what I saw was very suspicious for seizures. We initially gave him a dose of IV Diazepam, which decreased the frequency of the seizures but didn't stop them. We started IV Phenobarbital this morning, and so far that is working fairly well--he's only had 2 breakthrough seizures in the last 8 hours. I did some online research regarding neonatal chikungunya encephalitis, and I came across this article:
I realize this is just 2 case reports, but this makes me very worried about babies born in Haiti during this epidemic (if I can call it that). This virus is not benign for the very young (and the very old).
She adds in another email:
Incidentally, my chikungunya antibody testing came back positive yesterday (both IgM and IgG--for reference, I first became symptomatic late on 5/13, and my blood was drawn early on 5/19--I'm surprised my IgG was already positive).
I was surprised by how severe the illness was in me (I am very healthy normally), and also surprised by the length of time it's taken to recover fully (I still have some arthritis in my knees, but otherwise I'm feeling well). It's made me realize how much I take my (normally) good health for granted.