Death of Surfer Andy Irons Draws Attention to Dengue Fever

Andy Irons, who made a name for himself as a three-time world champion surfer, died earlier this month, and signs are pointing to Dengue fever as the culprit.

Andy Irons, who made a name for himself as a three-time pro world champion surfer, was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas on November 2. Irons was on his way to Hawaii after taking part in a surfing contest in Puerto Rico.

The cause of Irons’ death is still being investigated, but many of the signs are pointing to Dengue fever, a virus-based disease spread by mosquitoes. In fact, the only reason Irons stopped in Dallas on his way to Hawaii was because he was too ill to continue traveling. There have been reports that prescription drugs were found in Irons’ hotel room, but the simple fact is that Dengue fever is an epidemic in the area where Irons was surfing in Puerto Rico; more than 12,000 cases have been reported in the area this year alone.

As many await the reports that will confirm what caused Irons’ death, it has sparked a buzz on the Internet about what exactly Dengue fever is and what the symptoms are.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, Dengue fever is a disease that ranges from mild to severe causes and “caused by four related viruses spread by a particular species of mosquito.” Mild cases involve a high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain, while more serious cases can cause severe bleeding, sudden drops in blood pressure, and death. Unfortunately, “no specific treatment for dengue fever exists, and most people recover. But if you have a severe form of the disease, you need hospital care.”

More on Irons:

Dengue fever at epidemic levels in Puerto Rico, where surfer Andy Irons had just visited [LA Times]

Surfer’s Sudden Death Shines Spotlight on Dengue Fever [Wired]

More on Dengue Fever:

Mayo Clinic

Google Health

WebMD