Chikungunya slams brakes on woman’s active lifestyle

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 26 Jul 2020

Weakened: Chua describing her joint pains.

GEORGE TOWN: Usually one to go for brisk walks and always in high spirits, cafe owner Mabel Chua is in tears fighting a bout of chikungunya which has incapacitated her.

“I noticed the symptoms almost a month ago, a day after my uncle was confirmed to have it.

“I had felt fine the whole day but in the evening, I was in pain, ” said Chua, 48.

The next day, Chua said she could not even get out of bed.

“I was weak and my joints hurt a lot.

“My whole body was aching and despite me testing negative for chikungunya the first time, I knew I had it, ” she said when met at her house near Jalan P. Ramlee.

Chua said she could not get out of bed and had to use all of her strength to move about.

“I was swollen all over and had a walking stick to help me stand up the first few days.”

Luckily, she said that an injection given to her to reduce the swelling was effective.

“When I tested positive for chikungunya a few days later, the local council sprayed our housing area for mosquitoes, ” she said.

For now, Chua said the suffering had not eased up.

“It is sporadic; the pain comes and goes. And I never know when it is going to hit me or which joint is going to hurt.”

She said she would still limp in pain, which was tough for an active person like her.

“The swelling is subsiding as I am on anti-inflammatory medication but there is constant pain.

“And movements, which I took for granted previously, are now difficult.

“I was told the pain could last from two to six months.

“Now I just sit around at home, ” she said.

She said it was difficult to care for her mother, who is in her 80s, as she could not cook.

Prior to this, Chua said she had only heard of chikungunya but did not know much about it.

“We always think of dengue when we think of mosquitoes.

“Now, we stay at home because of Covid-19 but I did not know chikungunya cases are on the rise, ” she said.

It has been almost a month since she came down with chikungunya but she is still feeling weak.

“I need to take extra precautions as both my uncle and I got it and we live in the same house.

“My mother is old and I do not want her getting it as well, ” she said.

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