As reported by ABC 33/40, an 80-year-old man is being treated at UAB for West Nile Virus.
According to the family, the man became ill last week. At first, he had double vision, soon becoming unable to walk. He was rushed to the ER, where doctors, unable to determine his illness, treated him for numerous conditions.
His health continued to deteriorate, so he was transferred to UAB in Birmingham. Once there, the doctors quickly realized what he was suffering West Nile Virus.
Reliving the events that unfolded over the past week, his daughter, Karen Gallahar said,
“He had the classic neck pain, headache, fever, loss of movement in arms and legs,” she said. “So we suspected Meningitis, but not West Nile virus.” “We want the community to be aware, it can happen anywhere,” Gallahar said. “There’s children in this area and my dad is really worried about them, he said: ‘make sure they know.’”
The family suspects that the man likely contracted the disease while working in his garden. According to them, that is where he spends much of his time, so it seems likely that he encountered the infected mosquito there.