Student Cara Pyper caught dengue fever on holiday in
Bali

Student Cara Pyper caught dengue fever on holiday in Bali

After spending two weeks in Bali, Indonesia, Cara Pyper, 22, suddenly began to feel ‘deathly unwell’ as if she’d been ‘hit by a bus’. 

Pyper developed a range of symptoms, including a high temperature, headaches, muscle pain and extreme fatigue which are all common symptoms of dengue.

Her friend Abbi Whorriskey took a video of Cara while she was unwell and she can be seen waving her arms about looking ‘possessed’ as if she was swatting flies while asleep.

Cara Pyper caught dengue fever while on holiday in Bali, IndonesiaCara Pyper caught dengue fever while on holiday in Bali, Indonesia (Image: Kennedy News)

Abbi, also 22, even joked she thought she might need to ‘phone a priest’ after seeing her friend’s ‘scary’ movements while sleeping.

Cara didn’t know she had dengue fever at the time and brushed her symptoms off, thinking it was just a hangover. She even pushed herself to continue sight-seeing.

Cara, from Edinburgh, Scotland said: “It was hell at the time. I felt deathly unwell.

“About two weeks in to our holiday I literally just got overcome with this random sickness. I literally felt like I had been hit by a bus. My whole body just felt heavy and sore.

“I thought I was just run down because of the time difference or that it was maybe from drinking. I thought it was maybe just a hangover.

“I was in shock when I woke up and saw the video Abbi took. It does scare me. I don’t know if I was hallucinating in my dream or whatever but that was one of the first days that I got this illness.

“I don’t know if I was imagining flies in my dream but I’ve never moved in my sleep like that before. It was really bad.

“My friend was terrified obviously, she thought she was going to have to call a priest.”

Student Cara Pyper, 22, looked ‘possessed’ while sleeping

Cara, who is currently studying education at university, said she put herself through ‘hell’ as she tried to carry on enjoying the holiday and going exploring.

Cara said: “I needed to sleep for 24 hours a day but because I was in Bali I wanted to push myself to go to the monkey forest and all that.

“It started to get better five or six days after but it probably lasted around eight days.

“Even when I thought I was getting better, I looked so bad that a waiter asked me if I was okay because I looked so sick.

“I still tried to do the most I could when I was sick. I was just in a lot of pain and sleeping everywhere I could.

“The rest of my time was unreal though, it was completely smooth.”

Cara Pyper friend joked she thought she might need to 'phone a priest' after seeing her friend's 'scary' movements while sleepingCara Pyper friend joked she thought she might need to ‘phone a priest’ after seeing her friend’s ‘scary’ movements while sleeping (Image: Kennedy News)

After her experience, Cara is now hoping to warn other travellers to layer up, wear mosquito spray and rest as much as possible if they think they could have dengue fever. 

Cara said: “I think dengue fever is at its height right now. It doesn’t just happen in Bali though you can get it in lots of countries, it was just from a mosquito bite and mosquitoes love me.

“I’m no stranger to mosquito bites so I was wearing mosquito spray but I’d definitely warn others to maybe just put on a few extra layers.

“If you do feel like you have it, maybe look into getting an IV and try to rest up as much as possible.”

The NHS has issued the following advice on dengue fever:

If dengue fever is found in the country where you are, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.

Recommended reading:

You can do this by wearing long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover your arms and legs, particularly during early morning and early evening; use insect repellent on your skin (ideally one that contains the ingredient DEET); close windows and doors whenever possible, or use blinds or screens; sleep under a mosquito net treated with insecticide, including during the day.

How is dengue fever treated?

While there is no treatment for dengue, you can ease your symptoms by resting, drinking plenty of fluids, taking paracetamol to help bring down your temperature and ease any pain.

If you have dengue fever, do not take anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin – these can cause bleeding problems if you have it.

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