Doctor Diagnoses First Case of 'WhatsAppitis'

Case detailed in The Lancet medical journal describes woman who suffered wrist pain after using the application for six hours.

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WhatsApp.Credit: Dreamstime

In the latest issue of the medical journal The Lancet, Grenadian Dr.  Inés M. Fernandez-Guerrero described the symptoms of a 34-year-old woman: "Bilateral wrist pain with sudden onset upon waking up one morning." The woman, who was 27 weeks pregnant, "had no history of trauma and had not engaged in any excessive physical activity in the previous days."

The doctor, who works at Granada's General University hospital, carried out further physical examinations, but it was the patient's activities on Christmas Eve that led to the novel diagnosis: She has spent six hours talking on the WhatApp application on her 130-gram cellular phone, resulting in bilateral wrist pain.

In short, the Dr. concluded, the woman had WhatsAppitis. And the treatment called for "complete abstinence from using the phone" (along with some anti-inflammatory drugs).

The case is reminiscent of "Nintendinitis" (or "Nintendo thumb," or "gamer's grip") first described by doctor in the 1990s. Those injuries were associated with playing video games, and manifested themselves in a variety of symptoms, from blisters to carpal tunnel syndrome.