Dengue fever Pierse's Games souvenir

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:47 PM ET

Canadian swimmer Annamay Pierse was hoping to bring back a handful of medals as souvenirs from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Instead, all the swimmer brought back from Delhi, India, was a bronze medal and a debilitating case of dengue fever.

"Yes it's been confirmed dengue fever has been the cause of my horrific pain! Now I need to get better stat," Pierse, 26, said on Twitter Friday morning, two weeks after the Games ended.

The Delhi Games closed Oct. 14 and three days later Pierse complained in a tweet of a stomach ache blamed on the "Delhi belly". On Oct. 20 she reported a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Is it bad when people always respond with 'You would' when I get that weird illness no one else ever gets?" she wrote Oct. 28. "Does that mean I get sick too much?"

Flu-like dengue fever is a virus spread by mosquitoes. Unlike malaria, there are no preventive medicines. Athletes in Delhi were advised to use Deet-based insect repellents to prevent being infected.

The athletes' village was near the Yamuna River, Delhi's main waterway. In September, monsoon rains caused flooding and a spike in the mosquito population.

During the Games, only one athlete came down with a mosquito-borne illness, according to information released by the event organizers.

A Nigerian table tennis player withdrew from men's singles after exhibiting symptoms of malaria. Ekundayo Nasiru was already competing in singles and was ready to enter the doubles competition.

The Commonwealth Games swim meet ended Oct. 9. Pierse, the world 200-metre breaststroke record-holder, salvaged her Games appearance with a bronze medal in the women's 4x100m medley relay. She called her fifth-place showing in the 200m "awful."

"I am so relieved," Pierse said about the bronze. "It was such a disappointing meet for me."

Pierse, who trains in Vancouver with the University of B.C. Dolphins swim club, was selected to compete at the short-course world championships Dec. 15-19 in Dubai. She isn't sure if she will be well enough to compete in Dubai, though.


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