I don't post many of these reports, but they're becoming increasingly common in the US media. Via The Morning Sun: Get used to a new word: chikungunya. Excerpt:
If the rioters don’t get you, the mosquitoes will.
In a “no good deed goes unpunished” kind of drama, Cassandra Freds of Alma came back from a volunteer mission in Haiti - which she paid for - with a raging case of chikungunya.
The mosquito-born virus has been all over the world and the news. It first appeared in the Caribbean last year, where it seems to be thriving now.
Last week, two Michiganders returning from the Caribbean were reported to have the virus.
Freds and two of her traveling companions with an organization called “Poured Out,” came down with what appears to be the illness and that likely raises the number to at least five cases in Michigan and counting.
It hasn’t been confirmed, as yet, however.
“Poured out” is a non profit organization that strives to make clean water accessible. Freds and 13 other volunteers of all ages were in Petite-Goave, about a two hour drive from Port Au Prince, for a week helping to install portable water filtration systems.
Having just earned her associates degree in nursing, Freds, 25, spent her graduation money on the trip.
She said she can’t remember if they had been warned about the specific chikungunya illness, but they had been warned about mosquito-borne viruses
“We had mosquito nets, we routinely sprayed (mosquito repellant) morning and night,” she said.
Freds arrived back on U.S. soil Wednesday night, after a particularly harrowing experience.
On the way to the airport, a riot occurred. The members of the group were riding in the back of a truck and a ruffian climbed aboard and tried to take one young woman’s wedding ring off her finger.
The American Embassy was called, said Freds' mother, Kristin Benitez, and the group was asked, “Are you being shot at?” They replied no, they were being stolen from.
The woman whose wedding ring was being yanked off her finger, had, as it happens, a black belt in karate and she smashed the would-be thief’s hand, surprising him, Benetiz said.
They did finally make it to the airport and the plane was held for them. Once they arrived in Miami, Freds called her mother, telling her what had happened. And then she added, “I don’t feel very well, either.”
The virus isn’t life threatening but it is similar in some ways to dengue fever, causing joint pain and high fevers, chills, and stomach ills, generally lasting five to 15 days, depending upon age. The younger the victim is the faster the recovery. For those middle age or over the recovery may last months, with the possibility of joint pain lingering for years.
Freds has broken out in a rash and was suffering Monday from joint pain.
“I’ve just been on the couch the whole time,” Freds said. “I can’t climb the stairs.”