Monday, June 18, 2007


For anyone who has traveled to, lived in, or thought about living in a foreign country, you have probably heard about the risks of certain diseases associated with that country. Here in Mexico, there is a risk of contracting something called dengue.
Our first close encounter with this disease occured when the health department here in Merida came by our house with fumagation equipment, rang our doorbell, and cordially explained that after receiving word of a confirmed case of dengue in our neighborhood, they were sent out to fumagate the homes on our street (free of charge). We graciously let them in, they were here 5 minutes and gone. Ok, so the threat of dengue is clear as well as near to where we live.
A few weeks later the health department showed up again, this time with a solution to put in the drains of our showers (a place where mosquitos can breed) and did a quick check of our home and patio to see if there were any containers, etc. to hold water after it rained (another breeding opportunity for those buggers). Before leaving, the health lady advised us to seek medical attention if we or our children were to come down with a high fever - one symptom of dengue. Wow, they really take this thing seriously . . .
Now let's fast forward to two weeks ago, June 4th. Tuesday afternoon, Jonathan comes down with a fever - it's high. We call Sandy, our friend, fellow missionary, and nurse. What do you think? Well, not knowing details about the disease, she offers to come with me to see the Dr. at the hospital here (for support as well as to find out more about this fever.) While we're there, Jonathan decides his stomach doesn't agree with what he has eaten (lucky for me, in the hospital bathroom, not mine). In short, after this visit, we are told that it is mostly likely not Dengue but possibly rotovirus (although he had no symptom of diarrhea) and to simply follow steps for hydration (giving lots of fluids), fever control and rest. Ok, yeah.
Two days later Jonathan is still sick with fever and pain when he closes his eyes and now Rebekah has a fever and experiencing body pain, too. Hmmmm. We decide to go in to see the kids' pediatrician. Different from the US, many doctors keep evening hours. So, we went in around 7 and didn't get home until after 10! Our Dr. had a lot of information to give us, he was very thorough and gave us print outs with more info. Confirmed by our pediatrician, our kids did not have dengue. He is on a team that has done research in this area(and had just returned from some kind of meeting/conference), so he had a lot to share. I felt good, knowing that he was well informed and could outline the "whys" when it comes to our kids. Anyone who knows me, knows that I really need those "whys" in life.
So, we waited and prayed and hydrated and controlled the fevers and made them rest for 4 days each until the fever disappeared. Now you would never know they were sick - Praise the Lord!
Is dengue still a threat? yes. We have mosquitos and it is transmitted in that way. But now we can approach it with a knowledge of what to look for, what to expect. Thank you to those who read my post with the prayer requests - all the knowledge in the world is useless without the Lord and the healing and saving power of His Son, Jesus. I want to give Him the glory for the health of our kids.

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