Dengue fever might be topical but it is not really that fun.
We have escaped serious illness so far and it was about time someone got ill, if only to entertain our expedition doctor. So I contracted Dengue somewhere between the Amazon and the Orinoco and consequently spent most of Venezuela in bed - definitely not the best way to see the country.
Initially, Tim and Will thought I had a more serious than usual case of whinging and moaning. I fluctuated between thinking I should go to hospital and that I was a hypochondriac. When I started vomiting everything up I thought it might be best to get a medical opinion.
We had been leant a gorgeous apartment in the Kensington equivalent of Caracas by a very generous English teacher and a few minutes’ walk away was a swanky private clinic.
Before you can even see a doctor in Venezuela you are weighed and measured but once off the scales and dressed in a paper gown the doctor was pretty sure I had Dengue. Various blood tests confirmed this and I was told to go to bed.
The boys very nicely spent their time cooking, carrying, buying medicine and collecting test results for me. And I had full licence to spend the next four days lying down watching X-factor clips and wondering what my platelet count might be.
While I had my feet up in Venezuela, where Dengue is pretty common, residents of Florida were alarmed to also be experiencing a Dengue outbreak – something experts are attributing to climate change.
I don’t think I managed for Dengue what Cheryl Cole did for malaria and while I’m completely better now I wouldn’t really recommend the experience. However, as climate change continues it looks like Dengue will become increasingly common in new regions.