New Zealand Ski Champion dies of Dengue Fever in Puerto Vallarta

Philippa “Pip” Greig has just succumbed to dengue fever from a mosquito bite while traveling in Mexico. Her father, Rob Greig, confirmed the unfortunate news to the New Zealand Herald.

Rob said that the 36-year-old former Ski champion was house-sitting for an acquaintance outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when she contracted the viral infection and fell ill.

Her father suspected that “Pip” was already sick for four to five days until neighbors requested her to get medical treatment in a hospital in Puerto Vallarta. From the small village, she had to travel for at least an hour to reach the treatment facility.

On August 17, his daughter acceded to the disease, doctors from the hospital tried to revive her and CPR was applied for 40 minutes. Sadly, she never recovered.

Rob shared with the New Zealand Herald that they were utterly “devastated” by his daughter’s passing. He added that “It’s very, very tough… It’s going to take time through it all.”

“We’re so appreciative of all the support we’re getting… It’s a small warning to anyone that travels that these things happen.”

Initial reports have stated that Philippa contracted the worse kind of dengue fever, the fatal one. Worldwide, Incidences of dengue fever have doubled over the last 50 years, according to the World Health Organization. And cases of dengue in the area of Puerto Vallarta have increased over 200% compared to last year.

Research from the WHO estimates that up to 50 to 100 million infections occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting half of the world’s population at risk.

Infected people also become the leading carriers of the virus after being bitten, spreading it to uninfected mosquitoes when they feast on tainted hosts. The virus circulates in the blood of a person for two to seven days.

Indications of dengue fever include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, swollen glands, rash, and muscle and joint pains. It mimics symptoms of severe flu.

In potentially fatal cases, the World Health Organization notes that symptoms will quickly transition into severe physical manifestations.

Those who are infected will experience persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums and blood in vomit as well as extreme fatigue and restlessness.

On 2004, Philippa “Pip” Greig won the open women’s title at the New Zealand Free Ski Nationals in the Skier X discipline. She was a notable member of the New Zealand ski team.

A native of Queenstown, “Pip” managed Pinewood Lodge, a business that is owned an operated by her family. Steve Wilde, one of Philippa’s friends, told Otago Daily Times that “She was just enjoying life… it’s just so tragic.”

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