Chikungunya or Zika – still feeling whatever it is

With Zika and Chikungunya often in news headlines, I’ve noticed people are landing on my blog with through searching for these terms. So, here’s an update.

Six weeks after coming down with what a doctor said was Chikungunya Fever, I still have some ‘off’ days.

I had a fever of 101.6 the week before we came to Belize. My friends in Tulum warned me the fever would return some weeks after initial symptoms.

The fever lasted just over a day and the joints in my hands were kind of achy. There was one spot on one finger that had a tingly, itchy rash, similar to when I first developed symptoms. It was totally gone after three days.

Tight shot with my iPhone of one of the mosquitoes I killed inside my Tulum apartment. It’s difficult to see, but it did have white stripes found on Aedes aegypti – the kind of skeeters that spreak ChikV, dengue, Zika, yellow fever and other viruses.

Some days my neck is really stiff when I wake up. I just live with it. And throughout December, there were many days I was just simply so tired. Lately, I’ve had a bit more energy.

Day before yesterday, I took a slow jog for the first time in months. (I had stopped before I had whatever virus I came down with, because I was mostly riding my bike and swimming and it was too hot to run.)

After my short jog was done, I had intense pain and aches in my left knee, and dull aches in my right knee. The pain lasted all day, and Tylenol did nothing. Overnight, the pain vanished and I woke up the next morning totally fine.

I took it easy yesterday.

Today, I took another short run. There is some pain in my left knee, but not as intense. After the jog, my husband and I went kayaking in the lagoon where were are living for the month. My hands and wrists were very achy after a short ride out and using the paddle. As I type this, my fingers are tightening up at the joints.

I give readers this account in case it ever helps anyone else who gets bit by a mosquito and then gets a rash and fever and joint pain. While the doctor declared my symptoms to be Chikungunya, two lab tests came back negative. (False negatives are entirely possible.) The lab didn’t test for Zika at the time I went.

Recently, I came across another blog by a woman who went on vacation and returned to the States with horrible symptoms. A lab back home diagnosed her with Chikungunya, and she has an incredibly detailed account of how the virus affected her.

I’m linking that here, in case someone needs help or support or wants to learn more about “ChikV”.

Luckily, I don’t seem to have symptoms as bad as some other people have gotten. This virus affects everyone differently. I certainly had/have something. The good news is if I really do have ChikV, I won’t get it again because by now I’ve developed antibodies.

Thanks to my husband for the murder of countless mosquitos since he joined me here in the tropics, along with other various biting bugs. If it bites, it’s coming after me, no matter what kind of repellent I use.



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