The Family Without Borders

The Travelling family

South PacificTonga

Likes

Little death on the road

Chikungunya in Tonga (South Pacific)

2 weeks knocked out? No mama, no wife, no talks. Just a bed and thousands of thoughts.

This is the only thing which can happen when you travel and cannot really happen when you are at home (of course with some crazy exceptions!): getting some tropical virus. People say that there is no cool traveller without dengue fever or malaria experience. Then I’m still not cool. But I’ve got… chikungunya. Much worse thing that it sounds like!

All the Vava’u north group of islands of Tonga – is covered. An epidemy is going on also in other Pacific countries, on Carribeans and… in the States.

Chikungunya is a viral infection transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, just like dengue fever (mainly by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species). It can cause very high fever, join and muscle pain in the extremities, headaches, skin changes, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration. All one after another, or at once. The fever and prostration lasts around 2 weeks but the pain can stay up to two years in most of the cases. What is the most scary in this story is (as I read in few places already) that the virus might have been created by Americans as a biological weapon against Cubans. The name comes from some African language and means: “that which bends up”…

In my case: everything has started with little red dots on my skin. The locals were sure from the beginning: you have our chikungunya! Took us some time to get to the internet to read a bit more about it! Then, the fever came. After a week, when I though I’m already fine – we changed the place of staying into another island. And then it has seriously started: I was fainting, loosing conscience and it was really bad. And in the worst moment, what happened? We met an angel! Italian Pepe, living in Tonga since years. Who invited us home, gave us (me) a bed, was cooking for us amazing food, his kids were playing with ours and Tom had a lovely company. Seriously, we are so lucky people!

Chikungunya was, until now, the only dark part of our trip. But all in all was not so bad: we made a life-long friendship, we got some kilos (with Pepe’s food!), we rested a bit and learn even more about the people and places.

But still – I don’t wish anybody funny-sounding chikungunya. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. There is no specific treatment but medications can be used to reduce symptoms. Not funny at all but at least chikungunya does not often result in death. And luckily I have Tom, who is not only amazing in every-day life but also just perfect in emergencies. And I have Hanna, who was creaming my painful skin, and I have Mila, who was bringing me her mango juice.


Our first book is out!

We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »

12 Comments

  • Bea
    Posted July 20, 2014 at 19:21 | Permalink

    Współczuję choroby, może się każdemu przytrafić, na to nie ma się wpływu. A co do Pepe to po prostu dobrzy ludzie się przyciągają :) Życzę dużo zdrowia i pozdrawiam z upalnego Krakowa :)

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:13 | Permalink

      No właśnie się zdarza! Czasem słońce, czasem deszcz :) Już prawie dobrze! Dzięki!!

      Reply
  • Posted July 20, 2014 at 22:21 | Permalink

    Ta choroba dotarla rowniez do Boliwii! Przykro mi, ze ciebie spotkala, ale ciesze sie, ze juz czujesz sie dobrze! I jakie szczescie, ze pechowy komar ominal dziewczynki?! Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:14 | Permalink

      Z dziećmi też dużo łatwiej: chorują rzadziej i szybciej. Ale – tak! – wielkie szczęście. Pozdrawiam i ja!

      Reply
  • Posted July 21, 2014 at 04:50 | Permalink

    I had the Chikungunya twice and it’s not fun at all. Good that you’re done with it and it’s good that it wasn’t the kids!

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:15 | Permalink

      Very good!! Wish you no more chikuns :)

      Reply
  • Aneta
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 07:53 | Permalink

    ale byłaś dzielna! współczuję ogromnie tak strasznie wyniszczającej i niebezpiecznej choroby.
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie z tropikalnego dziś Wrocławia i trzymam kciuki za dalsze, tylko już dobre, przygody!
    Aneta

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:16 | Permalink

      Teraz już tylko dobrze będzie :) dzięki!

      Reply
  • Posted July 21, 2014 at 09:23 | Permalink

    jak cudownie jest móc spotkać takich aniołów w odpowiednim momencie swojego życia!

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:16 | Permalink

      anioł, na serio!

      Reply
  • Katarzyna Truszewska
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:11 | Permalink

    You are so brave

    Reply
    • Anna Alboth
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:16 | Permalink

      or irresponsible :))

      Reply

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *