Patient Comments: West Nile Virus - Signs and Symptoms

Question:

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Comment from: Jake1648, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I was feeling so tired, shaky, nauseous, full and sweaty for a week or two, no one sent me for blood work for West Nile till I asked them to. Lo and behold, I do have the virus but I feel like I am going through the symptoms again. I feel like I am fighting this by myself.

Comment from: K Rae, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I contracted West Nile 9 years ago and suffer every August to October (originally contracted in August). I am looking for support, but physicians are uneducated/inexperienced with it.

Comment from: Diane, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 22

I have a friend who felt ill last night and messaged everyone last night with this, "I've been so dizzy all day that I can hardly stand, I'm nauseous, vomiting, my vision is covered in bright squiggly lines (like someone put a bright light in front of me), and my feet keep going numb." She just updated all of us and said she went to the ER and they told her she has West Nile.

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