Via The Joplin Globe: Joplin rallies to send load of acetaminophen to Haitian village. Excerpt:
A phone call from Haiti followed by a few more in Joplin will lead to the shipment Sunday of a large suitcase full of adult and children’s acetaminophen to a village in the island nation.
Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever/fever reducer that is in high demand in Haiti because of the arrival of chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye), a painful viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes.
The virus has been spreading rapidly across Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean since its arrival in the Western Hemisphere in December. It will eventually affect Florida, health officials in the United States say.
“There is nothing you can do to stop it,’’ said Janet Montgomery, with Just Mercy, a Haitian relief mission with ties to Stark City. “All you can do is treat the symptoms.
“When Haiti’s minister of health said that acetaminophen, or Tylenol, was the best treatment, it disappeared from the shelves in Haiti. You can’t find it anywhere.’’
Chikungunya is rarely fatal. Among the symptoms are a fever of 104 degrees, joint pain in lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or phalanges, joint swelling, rash, headache, muscle pain, nausea and fatigue. In some cases, it can cause people to suffer chronic, arthritis-like symptoms for years.
The virus remains in the human system for five to seven days. Mosquitoes biting an infected person during this period can also become infected, helping to spread the disease.
Janet’s husband, Bill, called her from Haiti earlier this week with the news. She, in turn, called several people in Joplin to put together the shipment to Haiti.
“I called Sid Davis and he told the Joplin Rotary Club. I called Billy Garrigan, with Anderson’s Ice Cream. They have been incredible for us more than once in the past. He put something out on Facebook and I just picked up a load there,’’ she said.
“I also called Len Clevenger, who got us some help though the Community Clinic of Joplin, and Dr. Christopher Roberts, who is my personal doctor,’’ she said. “I was overwhelmed by the response.
“We have a large suitcase full. That’s a lot of medicine.’’