New Zealand ski champion Philippa Greig, 36 has died after contracting dengue fever from a mosquito bite while visiting Mexico. Greig’s father, Rob Greig, confirmed the news of his daughter’s death to the New Zealand Herald.
The former member of the New Zealand ski team, known as Pip, was house-sitting near the coastal resort of Puerto Vallarta when she suddenly fell seriously ill. Her father had suspected she was sick for four or five days until neighbors insisted she go to the base hospital in Puerto Vallarta, a 40-minute boat ride away, to seek help.
Rob explained that Pip succumbed to the disease on August 17. He said that CPR was applied for 40 minutes, but that his daughter couldn’t be revived.
“It’s a wee warning to anyone that travels that these things happen,” said father Rob Greig. “There are two forms of dengue fever and she got the worst one.”
Pip won the open women’s title at the 2004 New Zealand Free Ski Nationals in the Skier X discipline, while a member of the New Zealand ski team.
Incidences of dengue fever have increased over the last 50 years, according to the World Health Organization. 50 to 100 million infections are now estimated to occur annually in over 100 countries. The disease is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, though humans become the main carriers after being bitten, spreading it to uninfected mosquitoes. The virus circulates in the blood of an infected person for 2-7 days, the WHO says.
Symptoms mirror severe flu and those infected will experience high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, rash, and muscle and joint pains. In extreme and potentially deadly cases symptoms will transition into severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, and blood in vomit, as well as fatigue and restlessness. Those typically occur 3-7 days after the first symptoms appear, according to People. For those cases, proper medical care is critical within the next 24-48 hours to avoid complications and risk of death.