Author: Tom Ryals (---.fv.ks.cox.net)
Date: 01-16-13 01:09
This is an odious subject, but one which seems in order for any tropical location.
It is my understanding that an epidemic of Dengue Fever in Puerto Rico has only recently ended. Apparently Culebra experienced just a couple of cases. Nevertheless, a grasp of the implications of this disorder is certainly practical.
I have done a Google search on the subject, and learned a lot. But it is much more helpful to receive feedback from folks who have actually undergone this ordeal. Some questions on my mind are:
Of all the mosquito repellents being used, Deet seems least satisfactory for long term use because of its toxicity. Of course, this is a personal view. Also in the commercial category, Avon Skin So Soft is touted. Many women say, simply wearing perfume works. By way of alternatives in the home-remedy department, I have read of Vitamin B1, 25-50 mgs two or three times daily (or there is even a B1 bug patch,) self-prepared garlic/lemon oil or self-prepared lemon/eucalyptus oil, vanilla extract at pulse points, lavender flowers rubbed behind ears and at wrists, etc.
For ongoing, permanent use, with the individual in-and-out of the water continually, commercial options become costly. Has anyone tried any of the others I have mentioned? And with what results? I'm particularly interested in Vitamin B1, building-up a two-week reserve in advance. It goes without saying, I'm hopeful of finding something that's sure-fire. It may be that with these little pests traveling in "swarms," as I hear they do, there may be no such thing. Any comments at all on this subject, particularly from residents, would be meaningful.
Another issue on my mind is some idea of the true frequency of Dengue Fever on Culebra. Often people have these experiences but prefer to keep such bouts private. In non-hemorrhagic varieties is one prostrated completely, or can he still negotiate a bit? Does he need a care-giver on hand, or can he do basics for himself? The hemorrhagic type is deadly serious, I know, but less frequent. In any event, with all these considerations, mosquito repellents become ALL IMPORTANT! Agreed? It would be my guess that the hemorrhagic variety would require a patient be hospitalized in San Juan. Correct?
Acquaintances of mine in Costa Rica have had this ailment three or four times. Jimmy Buffett refers to the malady simply as, "breakbone." So I can live forever without it! May it be so!
I am hopeful of hearing from many people on this subject. Your input will be appreciated.