I went on my first mission trip last year to Guatemala speaking absolutely NO Spanish. This year I made it a goal to begin learning Spanish. To that end I scheduled a 2 week intensive Spanish course in the Dominican Republic in May. I learned a lot of Spanish (still having a hard time getting it to come out of my mouth right) and I also got Zika. Fortunately, I’m way past having more kids! I used Off bugspray (with DEET) 2-3 times a day and sprayed down my bed every night. I never saw even one mosquito bite.
But….the Thursday of my second week I started feeling tired – it took a lot of effort to walk up my steps and I had to stop during my Brazilian JuiJitsu rolls. I chalked it up to not eating well, sweating gallons and 10 minute rounds. The next day I felt more fatigued and just sick. By late afternoon I had a whole body rash and conjunctivitis. The next day my hands, feet and knees were swollen and sore, my head hurt and I couldn’t eat. That’s when I knew I had it. A test when I got home confirmed it.
Fortunately, I have an iron immune system and I have completely recovered. But it took 2 weeks and it wasn’t fun. The moral of the story for me is that mosquitos are nasty, sneaky little creatures. Zika isn’t fatal but malaria IS! I will not take malaria prophylaxis lightly in the future and recommend taking the appropriate antibiotics exactly as directed by your physician. I know I will!!!!