The world of surfing is mourning the untimely death of 32-year-old surfing legend Andy Irons.
Numerous sources are claiming that Irons contracted dengue fever in Puerto Rico where, as reported by Australian surfing publication Stab Magazine, there was a recent outbreak that infected 8381 people and killed 29.
Dengue is a viral disease spread by mosquitos and the most common symptoms are high fever; severe headache; muscle and joint pain; a bumpy, red rash; feeling sick and vomitting; and pain behind your eyes.
The world’s surfing media is reporting that Irons pulled out of the Rip Curl Search Contest in Puerto Rico due to illness. He initially spent two days in Miami on IV drip before deciding to fly back home to receive treatment from his personal doctor. Irons reportedly became increasingly sick, feeling feverish and vomiting, and he was unable to make his connecting flight to Hawaii out of Dallas.
The three-time ASP World Champion checked into a hotel and staff found him dead in his room the following morning.
The surfer’s cause of death, however, is not clear. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, methadone and numerous pills were found on his bedside table. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death as a possible methadone overdose. It may take 60 to 90 days before the exact cause of death can be established if a toxicology test is carried out.
Rumors have made the rounds in the surfing world that Irons struggled with substance abuse at times, although there has been no concrete evidence to support these these rumors.
Irons leaves behind a pregnant wife.
The Rip Curl Search Contest has been postponed out of respect for the surfing champ.
Read about another potentially fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes: malaria.