Dengue Fever?!

There are two mosquito-born diseases that everyone tells you to look out for. Malaria is the big one being that it wrecks entire continents, has a host of campaigns armed with mosquito nets working on preventing it, and was a proper concern of mine when I thought I was Guatemalarial. The other disease is dengue fever. It’s known as breakbone fever because the joint and muscle pains make you feel like your bones are cracking. There are also the headaches, the rashes and the fever to make it an altogether unpleasant experience.

There are two other folks on the same marketing gig as me. Both are from the UK, and both have discovered today that they have dengue fever. The gal has been feeling like rubbish since the weekend and suspected that it might be dengue – pain behind the eyes, body aches, headaches – but she hoped against hope that it was something else. Too much cola and cigarettes? Or maybe it was that pool that turned everyone’s skin and nails an unsettling shade of green? She finally decided to go to the Bangkok Hospital today, and it was confirmed: dengue.

My roommate, a tall and skinny fellow, sleeps early and has been rather cold at night when I feel that the heat is unbearable. He’s a straight-laced 19-year old and says that he always wears a scarf in England, even during summer, so it didn’t seem too weird. He started feeling like shit earlier this week and attributed his headache to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Today, he broke out in a full-body rash at work and left for the hospital about half an hour after the other girl went. He fainted when they took a blood test. The diagnosis was dengue as well.

This is feeling like a zombie mosquito marketing apocalypse. It’s curious – I’m that girl that gets bitten by all the mosquitos (my legs look pretty gruesome), and I have an awful immune system on top of that, but I’ve dodged it so far? Dengue has an incubation period of 3-14 days, so I very well might have dengue as well, but I might not be able to tell anyway. Rashes are a part of an atopic eczema life, I’m constantly sweating balls anyway, and I’m usually feeling off because of sleep deprivation. There’s no treatment for dengue since it’s a virus, so you just have to ride it out. As of now, I’m going to keep slathering myself with DEET and hope that I don’t have Jungle Fever – at least the bad kind, IF YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

(I was going to link to “Jungle Fever” by the Chakachas and make it more appropriate, but then I listened to it, and it’s actually completely inappropriate on multiple levels.)

Anyway. Here are some more visual slices of paradise.

Window to the sea (Lamai)

I finally went to the beach down the street from my resort this week. I don’t know why I hadn’t stopped by earlier – it’s pretty awesome. We’re entering into rainy season, and it has mostly led to really spectacular cloud formations and truly amazing lightning storms at night. What’s odd is that it hasn’t rained on us yet – we manage to catch lucky patches of clear sky while surrounded by lofty, electrified clouds. The moon behind it highlights the the height, as do the back-to-back bolts. The thunder is immediate and earth-shaking, so we know we’re close to the eye of the storm, but we’ve been dry and sitting underneath a patchwork of stars. It’s really, really, really beautiful.

The start of a curious cloud formation over Koh Phagnan from the beach down the road

2 thoughts on “Dengue Fever?!

  1. Amy says:

    Are you allowed mosquito coils at your job?

  2. Spencer Mickus says:

    dengue fever is always deadly if not treated early.,

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