Chapter 24: Killer Kiribati
Dengue Fever, an Arbovirus Infection
Dengue Fever, sometimes called breakbone fever, commonly occurs worldwide in the tropics and subtropics. Mosquitoes transmit the disease after they become infected from infected animals, including domestic pets and birds. Principal symptoms include high fever, severe eye pain behind the eyes, mild bleeding (such as nose or gum bleed, or easy bruising), a rash and swollen lymph nodes. It can be fatal. There is no specific medication for dengue fever. Use of acetaminophen-based pain relievers is suggested but ones containing ibuprofen, Naproxen, and aspirin should be avoided. Prevention, by using mosquito repellant, wearing protective-clothing and avoiding being outside at dawn/dusk, is truly the best course to take in areas where Dengue Fever is prevalant.
(Sources: Center for Disease Control and The Merck Manual of Medical Information (Home Edition))
An Excerpt from "Sailing Directions (Enroute) for the Pacific Islands"
(3rd Edition, 1988, by Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic/Topographic Center)
In a section about Tarawa Atoll, on page 132, there is a description about the local weather conditions, including the Westerly gales:
"The gale itself is heralded by a low bank of dark, nimbus clouds approaching on the W horizon, usually in the form of a horseshoe. The gale comes up fairly fast, and breaks with thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and a rush of wind. The gale may attain a rate of 50 miles per hour, and in localized instances in excess of 60 miles per hour. A very violent gale may last only 5 or 6 hours, but usually it is 3 days before the wind subsides."
The worst Westerly gale Tarawa had seen in 50 years...