OK ....I am officially recovered and back to work. I am interviewing for the Victim Support Training for the next two days so am cloistered in the Poilce Headquarters .
Many folks are saying when they hear of my symptoms that they too had an odd rash or red eyes or aching calves and yet they never really realised it was Zika and so did not stop work or take any special care not to be bitten. I just hope that we do not see a number of disabled babies born in 2017.
Ben is also much better although the Dr is playing it safe and has given him a to be off school until next Tuesday just in case he is still carrying the virus in his blood. I never thought I would hear Ben begging to go back to school.
I think I will revert to a weekly blog unless there is anything exciting to report!!! Still keeping a look out for Guillain Barre Syndrome numb fingers and muscle weakness. Many thanks for all the support online and in Dominica!
I think that I am officially in convalescent mode.Calves and fingers 90% back to normal. Only thing that is definitely not normal is that I am not hungry! That could be good for the figure.
My son Ben is now on Day Four and is reporting all the strange aches and pains. It has been interesting to see how people have avoided visiting, whereas when I had swine flu some years ago, which was easily caught by being sneezed on, I had to chase people away. In the end I expect everyone will get it with more or less symptoms.
Frankly I wonder if we should simply focus on saying "lets keep our unborn babies safe" and all of us put our pregnant loved ones under nets and spray them. I put out a facebook request for mosquito nets for the maternity ward and we have forty arriving tomorrow . That is very good news as really the key people who need to avoid getting bitten are expectant mothers. We need to look at repairing the a/c in the maternity department really as a priority. I know that we expect to have a new hospital in a year or two but it is now we need emergency measures as we will live with a microcephalic generation for their lifetimes.
The other focus should perhaps be on not conceiving. " Have you got enough condoms?" is a question I ask all my clients married or single, gay or straight, and have them like sweeties in a bowl. Am i encouraging sex? possibly, I hope I am encouraging safe sex. I wonder what the stance of those is who oppose condom use is? We have had trouble persuading men to use condoms for their own sakes so as not to get STIs; for their partners sake, so as not to cause pregnancy; what about now, for the baby's sake, so it is not born with brain damage? I wonder if we should ask the HIV testing unit to also test for Zika? I wonder if there is any rapid testing for Zika as there is for HIV?
So many questions......I must be better.
I hope this is the last of it. Headache on waking and hands still stiff and odd, and two toes are strange too. Still, by 10.00 am and after paracetamol, all seems resolved, just the strange shins feel swollen though they are not! the rash is gone almost like magic......it is now appearing all over my son! Poor chap, still at least I have all my lotions and potions at the ready and stand poised with the thermometer and paracetamol
I understand the results of the blood tests take weeks to come back! The Doctor visited yesterday just to make sure that the funny hands were not turning into the sinister Guillain Barre syndrome. "we'll just observe" ....and pray like mad too that no-one in Dominica comes down with that. Our 6 bedded ICU is stretched at times already and frankly would be overwhelmed if we have more than a few cases needing long term respirator use! I hope PAHO has thought of something for that possibility.
Just now the Rains will come and any stagnant breeding pools hiding in blocked drains will be washed down the hills at high speed. it seems almost inevitable that all Dominicans will get Zika in the end in some shape or form and that in a few months we will have herd immunity, especially if the tourists conscientiously spray themselves as they have been told! and if the Ministry of Health have a free white goods disposal service every month!
It comes to something when the first thing I want to do is parade in front of the mirror! Well the news is the rash is fading ! I hope I wont need to slather myself today with Aloe Vera Gel with Lidocaine or have Harry paint me with Calamine anti itch lotion. courtesy of Jolly's Pharmacy home delivery service.
The latest symptom is a very odd feeling in my hands, they won't close and feel swollen and stiff in the fingers,The fingers are short and stubby at the best of times and I am not sure if they are actually enlarged! I can't open the water bottle or the front door handle and am bothered about dropping things. I am shuffling about like an old lady.
Harry has gone fishing to stay out of the way of any stray mosquitoes who might have survived the energetic fogging from the next door neighbour. Had I not suggested she call the pest control I might have felt "a kind of a way" to have a man in a mask pumping white smoke at my open windows!
As it stands I have taken some time to think about those families who coped with Ebola last year in Sierra Leone. The arrival of a strange disease that relentlessly worked its way through families and communities. Where the prevention methods at times seemed powerless to stop it. The ambivalence of people about admitting they were ill. The horror of the symptoms. The lack of a cure. The need for love and interest. The calling of those who have survived to care for those still sick. The amazing end of it. The ongoing pain of missing those who "died in the War"
With Zika we do not have the life threatening component, except for a very few who might get Guillaine Barre Syndrome and lack the life support facility, BUT, and it is a big BUT, in nine months, early next year, will we have a generation of microcephalic babies????? It really is not clear as to what combination of circumstances have led to the deformities. I still think that the larvacides used in the area where Zika is may have something to do with it. I am extremely suspicious of those who stand to make a lot of money from vaccines and pesticides.
So more ponderings tomorrow.....I am off to audition for Discovery Health!
Rash now so extensive I am basically one big red blob, with an ant bite for every tiny spot! My feet hurt and my hands wont close but for the most part, the fever is down and I feel well enough to shout and carry on about nothing! Laptop crashing, phone ringer broken, last minute guests who came and saw and left......probably wanted to complete privacy for whatever they wanted complete privacy for and had not counted on there being another guest!
I am booking appointments for next week, I will be completely bonkers by then! Every person who dares enter the Chamber of Horrors is greeted by a a flying orange canister of OFF! and is told to "spray yourself!!!!!"
Letter to the Media
Now I have Zika, Day Four covered in Prickly rash!, I am hearing that it is rampant. but nothing in the media?
Are you deliberately not broadcasting to the world? I think the time for caution is past.
Please encourage everyone to spray themselves and pregnant women especially to coverup.
Let us harass the Government to do more clean up collections of junk on a regular basis.
Those of us who are sick should be spraying ourselves too.
If "God Forbid" we do have similar conditions as Brazil, where Zika plus "something" is resulting in microcephalic babies and Guillain Barre then what you do now can save lives.
With ChikV the Pharmacies were pushing wrist bands. I really think pregnant women should have these on their ankles. The maternity wards should have mosquito nets. In fact all the hospital beds should have mosquito nets.
As I lie here in bed feeling like I have lost a battle with a bed of nettles! I am very concerned to think that the 80% who are asymptomatic are walking around having mosquitos bite them and pass it on.
However all is not lost, with prompt and strategic action, I suspect Dominica has an opportunity to lead the way and by the end of the year we will have herd immunity and a pristine environment and be the best place to come on holiday.
I have had a strange fever for two days now and painful lymph glands at the back of my head. Last night the rash started and this morning conjunctivitis. The rash is all over now and is reminiscent of having rolled in fibreglass! Yes pretty sure that the test I just had will in fact confirm that the white lady has Zika (actually more like the red lady!)
Still where else in the world would your friendly doctor text you back at 5am and email you the test paper? where else would the lab send a nice young man round to take the blood ?and where else would the pharmacy deliver medicine and juice and goodies? If you have to be ill and the only treatment is TLC then Dominica is not such a bad place to be!!!
Only virtual visits allowed! please stay away especially if you are pregnant! (just in case!)