Patient Comments: West Nile Virus - Signs and Symptoms

What were the signs and symptoms you experienced with West Nile virus?

Comment from: Dallas Belle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

In 2012 I contracted West Nile virus in Dallas, Texas. I was hospitalized with toxic shock and a blood pressure of 48/55. I had horrible pain throughout my body but don't remember much after admission for weeks. I have had to relearn so much just to function. Still, I am keenly aware that I am not the person I was before. I deal with almost daily headaches and chronic fatigue. I have looked for doctors who can help but can't find any here in Texas. Doctors believe the chronic fatigue is depression and have given me every antidepressant pill I know of. None of these have helped me at all. Now they are looking at electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). That destroys memory and I would like to keep what little I have.

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Comment from: Trisha, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I got West Nile virus last August as well as meningitis and encephalitis. I was in the hospital for a month. I almost died, they called the family in to say goodbye. If I lived I"d be coloring books. Well I survived. The virus attacked the balance part of my brain. I had to learn to walk again. Now I walk with a cane. It"s hard to not keep tripping. Going up and down stairs are slow. Sometimes I"m dizzy, and my memory... well. Now I find out that the virus attacks your kidneys; even years after. My doctor says I have to see a kidney specialist. What next? There"s no cure, the virus bores holes in your kidneys like termites. Please be careful, watch out for mosquitos! One bite can change your life.

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Comment from: Ray, 45-54 (Patient) Published: April 11

One weekend I developed chills just before bedtime. Shortly after I began to experience high fever, body ache, and a fairly respectable headache. I had a 4 hour drive the next day, and after getting home I took a long shower, hoping to kick the crud. By nightfall my headache had turned into this crushing migraine (new to me) and the debilitating chills and fever returned with a vengeance. I was useless for the next few days -- weak, low fever on and off, and generally feeling puny. By day three I had a moderate number of itchy little blisters on my knuckles and fingers, like mild poison ivy. Bigger spots than a rash, but not really proper blisters, annoying more than anything. It later occurred to me that all this took place just 7 days after a hunting weekend, where I was out with the skeeters all night, indicating West Nile virus.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

In 2005 I was diagnosed with West Nile virus. I was experiencing body aches and pain in my joints and bones. I had no energy and could not stand for very long. Within a day I started with a low grade fever that elevated quickly and continued for nine straight days. On the ninth day I started sweating where I had to change bed clothes three times. It was like I had stepped out of the shower. Immediately after my fever broke I developed a severe headache that lasted for three days. Then I took pneumonia in both lungs and was very ill for a month. My memory has never been the same. I have word loss and my short term memory is not anywhere as sharp as it was before West Nile. I also have days where I run a low grade fever for no reason with chronic fatigue. I have since developed fibromyalgia and thyroid problems. I have an unexplained amount of infection in my body that shows up in all my blood test.

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West Nile Virus - Cause Question: How did you get West Nile virus? Were you traveling when you became ill?
West Nile Virus - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, did you or someone you know receive for West Nile virus?
West Nile Virus - Community Risk Question: How does your at-risk community help prevent outbreaks of West Nile virus?

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