It is a nasty virus, that is now in epidemic proportions here in Nicaragua. It is, like Denge and Malaria transmitted by a mosquito. It starts with a quick onset of high fever, severe muscle and bone pain, eye inflammation, and rashes. The rash looks like many viral rashes, fine red and itchy, but sometimes has darkened pigmentation marks often on the face.
The name comes from indigenous roots, and basically means “humped over” because it causes severe viral sepsis in the joints at times leaving people to have severe curvature to the spine. It also causes other joints, hands wrists ankles and feet, to deteriorate into a severe deformed arthritic state. It is often accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms, and occasionally meningeal and encephalopathy problems.
It is hard to say how much is presently in an epidemic state as the lab responsible for testing is under-supplied. I have great compassion for the health care workers, who are trying to do a huge and difficult job without the most basic of resources. Last week I donated two tanks of oxygen to the hospital because they had none, and didn't foresee getting any. They have no acetaminophen in the hospital, and little to no IV supplies.
The only protection against three of these diseases is control via fumigation for mosquitoes. The problem is they can't do the work without vehicles or the gas to run them, and the diesel and gas that are needed to make the fumigation devises function. They have none of these as well.
Yesterday the staff at the hospital sent multiple appeals to their friends and supporters, of which I am one, for gasoline and diesel to fumigate. Later in the day the director of the hospital called me, and requested transport, and scales, so that they can comply with the latest directive from the health department to weigh and measure children 6 and under to evaluate the level of children with malnutrition.
Today I called him and told him I could organize two trucks for each day next week, but only if they contained two fumigation units each. Today we purchased the diesel and gas needed, and are looking for support from others in the area, who might be inclined to do so. If need be I will use personal funds.
Any prayers are welcome!