Last week was extremely tough!
Yes, some of you know already that we at J.A.C.K. have been struggling against a very contagious disease. Chimps simply collapsed of high fever, cough, wheeze and shortness of breath.
The vet diagnosed bronchiolitis which is the inflammation of the bronchioles (the smallest air passages of the lungs). Some of the young ones of the main group were found lying on the floor, conscious but too weak to move…
This was the case of Zamba, Seki and Jane who have been isolated for very particular medication and observation as the virus was at its highest level. They are still in quarantine but doing a lot better now!
Seki (top) and with Mama Maguy (below)
But the bronchiolitis has had devastating effects on 3 of the little baby ones : Santa, Kimo and Maïka. We haven’t yet any nursery at the Refuge and because I wanted to take care of the 3 babies myself day and night, these were moved to my house.
Inhalation for Santa
At first, it was Santa who worried us most. Hot and completely lethargic, she had awful respiratory problems. Santa is allergic to some drugs and she is a fragile chimp. The vet even believes she has asthma. And because of all these weaknesses, this virus had an extremely bad impact on her. We started inhalations and had to put drips for re-hydration.
Also, because her fever was too high, we were afraid the virus would cause other kinds of infections… So, in addition, Santa had antibiotics.
Today, little Santa has recovered and is playing in the garden with her friend Kimo who has recovered too. He had high fever and a bad cough that prevented him from eating for several days… He has lost too much weight! Medication for them is still going on.
Papa Augustin has been assisting me during day with the babies
Santa (left) and Kimo (right) having just recovered. They lost quite some weight…
But, tonight, the case of Maïka is still worrying us a lot.
Remember, Maïka is the youngest baby at J.A.C.K. She had bronchitis last month when I was away and had fevers too. The new virus on her weakened lungs developed into a new disease that has been confirmed through chest X-rays: pneumonia.
So, for the last 2 days, Maïka has had heavy medication: intravenous injections of antibiotics and drips to prevent de-hydration. Although fever has slowly gone down, Maïka is still very weak and we really hope this treatment is the best and that it will save her…
At the Refuge, the epidemic seems to be under control. For the last 3 days, no new cases have been found and we at J.A.C.K. really cross our fingers!! The weather at this period of the year should be warmer (it’s dry season = winter) but the changes in temperatures are surprisingly important (chilly at night/hot during day). End of October rains should start and we all hope flu won’t come back again !
I’ll update very soon,