Do you text a lot? Be careful, you might get ‘WhatsAppitis’
The respected medical journal The Lancet has just recorded the first ever diagnosed case of too much texting that has been named after popular messaging service WhatsApp.
A 34-year-old emergency medicine physician from Granada, Spain was the first in the world to be diagnosed with what has been called ‘WhatsAppitis,’ a type of bilateral wrist pain brought about by texting for hours with both thumbs at the same time.
Inés M Fernandez-Guerrero of the General University Hospital in Granada wrote that the patient, 27 weeks pregnant, felt sudden pain on her wrists when she woke up one morning. The patient had ‘no history of trauma and had not engaged in any excessive physical activity in the previous days.’
Fernandez-Guerrero then added in her diagnosis ‘The patient … responded to messages that had been sent to her on her smartphone via WhatsApp instant messaging service. She held her mobile phone, that weighed 130g, for at least 6h. During this time she made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages.’
Since the symptoms weren’t similar to carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve damage, Fernandez-Guerrero called the injury WhatsAppitis. The doctor also noted that the patient’s injury was like the 1990’s Nintendo thumb injury called ‘Nintendinitis.’
After making the diagnosis, Fernandez-Guerrero has advised fellow physicians of the rise of this ‘emerging disease.’ Meanwhile, the patient was treated with ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and complete abstinence from using the phone to send messages.’
‘WhatsAppitis’ is not the only word the instant messaging service contributed to the lexicon. Last year, the world ‘wasapear,’ which means to send a message via WhatsApp, had been approved by Academia Colombiana de la Lengua, a Spanish language expert in Colombia.