Champion surfer Andy Irons left this world far too early at the young age of 32. Although there has yet to be any official statement of how he died, it’s being reported that he succumbed to complications from Dengue Fever.
Andy Irons had been in Puerto Rico for the Rip Curl Pro competition. He had reportedly dropped out due to feeling under the weather. He allegedly opted to fly home to Kauai to see his own doctor. But when he went to catch his next flight in Dallas he was too sick to get on the plane. He went to a nearby hotel where he was found dead the next day. And tragically he left behind a pregnant wife. So what is Dengue Fever? And how does one get it?
Dengue Fever which is also known as breakbone fever, was first identified and named in 1779. It is transmitted by a type of mosquitoes that are found in the tropics. The kind of mosquitoes that spread the disease generally bite as dusk and dawn but can bite at other times of the day.
The symptoms include a fever with a sudden headache, muscle and joint pain and a distinct pain behind the eyes plus a striking rash which usually occurs on the chests and lower limbs. In addition there can be stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases the patient can develop Dengue Shock Syndrome which has a higher mortality rate.
Dengue Fever usually lasts two to seven days but some can have long lasting fatigue and depression. Proper treatment includes a close monitoring of vital signs and supportive therapy to care for circulatory shock.
In 2010 the reported number of deaths of Dengue Fever has been about 2,000 with over a 1,500,000 confirmed cases. So Andy Irons is one of the few, statistically, who actually succumb to the disease.