Two suspected cases of virus
Local health authorities are dealing with what are believed to be the first two cases of the dreaded chikungunya virus in Barbados.
While no official announcement has so far been made by the Ministry of Health, WEEKEND NATION investigations revealed that in both cases the victims had just returned from Dominica, where medical officials are dealing with a major outbreak.
John Beckles, of Hopewell, St Thomas, who returned from Dominica on May 13 after spending six weeks there with his wife Cornelia, explained that he was only now getting relief from the excruciating pain brought on by the virus.
According to health journals, chikungunya is an African word that translates loosely into “contorted with pain” and the virus is characterised by “searing headaches, a burning fever and so much pain in the joints” victims can barely walk or use their hands.
Beckles explained that while in Dominica “almost everyone” he came into contact with had the virus and he and his wife did everything possible to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that transmit the illness.
When he got back to Barbados with no symptoms, he said, he was extremely relieved.
“Then last week Wednesday when I was working in the afternoon I realised I could not walk. My knees started to hurt so bad,” the auto mechanic revealed.