West Nile Virus: Recent Surge in Cases Sparks Concern in Texas

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Texas state flagWest Nile virus season is off to an early start this year, which doesn’t bode well for what’s to come. Most West Nile virus exposures in the United States occur from July through October, with a peak during the first two weeks of August. Peak season in Texas is under way, and there are already 336 cases of West Nile illnesses, including 14 deaths reported as of August 13, making this the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas since 2003. The virus has been appearing in many parts of the country, but almost half of the cases are in Texas and the numbers are rising.

Bruce Clements, Director of Community Preparedness at the Texas Department of State Health Services, tells CDC that Texas is currently seeing more than three times as many cases than previously seen in Texas since 2003. “Texas is on track to have the worst year ever for West Nile virus infections,” Clements said. “Assuming normal disease progression, we will outpace 2003, our worst year in terms of the number of cases.”

What is West Nile virus and how do you get it?

up close picture of a mosquito biting a humanWest Nile virus was first isolated in the West Nile sub-region of Uganda in 1937. The virus first appeared in the United States in 1999 in New York City. Today, we know that mosquitoes get the virus from birds they bite and the virus is spread to humans from mosquito bites.

Roughly one in five infected people get sick when infected with the virus. Most people who do get sick from the virus experience flu-like symptoms that generally last a few days, although some people report having the illness last for several weeks or longer. Others who get the virus and become ill may develop the more severe form of West Nile virus disease, called West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease (WNND).   People who develop WNND may experience headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.  Although rare, about 10% of people with WNND will die.  Of the 336 human cases reported in Texas so far, 200 are the more severe cases.

Not every mosquito carries the virus, and about 80% of people who are infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms at all.  Still, this virus has made a strong comeback, so precautions should be taken.  Awareness and personal protection can be a big step toward reducing your chance of getting infected.

Fight the Bite

Woman wearing long pants and long sleeves while she waters plants in a garden
Wear long pants and long sleeves to avoid mosquito bites

The best way to protect yourself from West Nile virus is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Here are some tips:

– Use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient when you’re outdoors and always follow the package directions

– Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or if possible, consider staying indoors during these hours

– Keep mosquitoes out of your home by making sure you have good screens on your windows and doors

– Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace bird baths weekly.  Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used

For more information on West Nile virus, click here.

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39 comments on “West Nile Virus: Recent Surge in Cases Sparks Concern in Texas”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    another help will be to please stop killing spiders. Spiders kill loads of mosquitoes and I think thats what is helping too many mosquitoes spread this disease. many people think they have to kill spiders. but you dont. most house spiders are not dangerous. let them have their webs .they are natural mosquito control. !!

    I contracted West Nile back in August of 2003 and was hospitalized with viral menangitis. I have very little memory of being ill. I basically slept for three months. Today, I am still having issues with it. When the weather is very hot, I feel like I have it again. I don’t get as sick as I did in 2003, but I have fatigue and flu-like symptoms. I contacted the CDC in 2004 to find out if there was anything I could do, if West Nile is like other mosquito-borne diseases. I was told no and that it was “all in my head.” Recently, I have read research that West Nile is like other diseases, in that it stays in your system and you have flare ups. I also talked to a neurologist recently who told me that my temporal lobes are damaged because of West Nile. I have memory loss that interferes with my everyday life. I think it’s important that more research be done on this serious illness.

    I just retired as a nurse in new jersey in June. Tues.night ,8-14-12, i was experiencing cold or allergy symptoms along with a mild stiff neck. by Wednsdaay morning my neck pain was becoming intolerable. i was also experiencing chills and profuse sweating. i just chalked it up to a cold. by nightfall the pain had spread to the base of my skull, ihas no range of motion in my neck. thurs. 8-16 I could no longer touch the backof my head and was unable to walk steadally due to the severe

    public health officer in sudan (vector control ) Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. avoite the breeding site

    Dayna Bennett….I am having the SAME problems!! I got WNV/Meningitis Aug. 2009…I haven’t been the same since the fatigue, sore muscles, eye sight, headaches,stiff neck, seem to be REALLY activated in the warmer weather. I agree that they SHOULD do more research on this illness. The media/government (in my opinion) play it down…If I hear one more “NEWS REPORT” that says you don’t even know you have it….Well that’s a WHOLE other Issue!! They haven’t studied those of us that were SERIOUSLY ill, so how can our Dr’s down play what we are telling them?? I have always been in Great physical and Mental shape but not after falling ill with this disease. If it can KILL a horse (which by the way they DO have a VACCINE for !!) What the heck do you think it can do to Humans?? The H1N1 Flu was Bad that year(2009) Free Shots to the Public…My Doctor Refused to give me the shot..He told me that if the HEALTH DEPARTMENT wanted to give it to me so be it They too Refused to give it to me AND why BECAUSE they were affraid of what might happen to me BECAUSE of the West Niles Meningitis!!! They MUST KNOW that there ARE long term (if not lifetime) effects for those of us with the meningitis…BUT to admit means it would cost $$ for research new drugs and disability claims. They also down play the numbers and % of people who get it to other diseases BUT take into consideration the SMALLER WINDOW of being Exposed to it and I GUARANTEE this disease SHOULD NOT be taken LIGHTLY.

    I have a mild case of West Nile. There should be a place to report it- I agree that not everyone is going to see a physician for mild symptoms-and there are probably a lot of people that don’t realize they do have it. My symptoms include: head-ache over entire head (which feels like brain swelling) for which I have been on Advil for several days. I also bought Zyflamed which is available at health food stores-it is an anti-inflamatory made by New Chapter. Slight nausea, mood is a little affected, slightly irritatable and intermittant brain issues-that is the scariest part. My symptoms have gotten better over last few days-I think I had it for almost 2 weeks already.

    I also have been trying to boost my immune system with Echnichea, Ginger, Green-tea, Tumeric and Rosemary-the later is the main ingredient in Zyflamed. Good Luck everyone-I wish you a good recovery

    I believe that Zyflmend (spelling) and garlic could be helpful, but for more serious cases a prescription might be needed, and for many people it is not like an ordinary flu virus in which chicken soup and rest will be enough.

    However there are many questions I have such as: Are you immune to getting it again after the first exposure? What are the side effect of the prescriptions that are being given? Why do some people have a high fever or different symptoms than others? Does Advil or other painkillers limit the body’s natural defense to kill the virus completely?
    I thank everyone for sharing their stories as it will help to shed some light on areas for future research.

    My cousin, Paul has just been diagnosed with West Nile, Palmer Texas and he is receiving almost NO hard information from the medical professionals on this matter! When he asks about the timeframe for this to run its course the answers are non informative and inconclusive! He is
    Dizzy, tired, unable to walk without assistance due to depth perception issues….the lack of information is astounding. Any information as this point would be appreciated!

    Sorry to hear about your cousin- I wish him a speedy recovery. I just wanted to let you know that its been 31/2 weeks and I am almost back to normal, but I am still having some trouble sleeping, irritable, depressed and still have a slight headache and queasy. I don’t know if I will have permanent brain damage, but it seems like I have been very lucky.

    I feel for everyone out there as you can see the symptoms and longevity of this virus vary considerably and I was told there is no cure-however, just using my own common sense-I decided to take Advil to reduce swelling and to drink water, and try to counter the effects by taking garlic, Vitamin C and other home remedies.

    I’m sure the CDC is trying to understand it, but I think they could do more to help people report their symptoms and make informed choices on the options for medication, and also to follow their progress to see the recovery time. My guess is that many people never went to the doctor-so the number of cases is probably higher than reported.

    @Kris: Sorry your cousin is having a hard time getting information. You can get more information on West Nile Virus from http://www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes/. However, we encourage anyone who thinks they may have the virus to speak to their primary care physician. Hope this helps, Thank you.

    @Scott: Thanks for your questions! There are no known effective treatments for West Nile. The course of West Nile is highly variable, so it’s difficult to determine if any treatment works in the absence of a controlled clinical trial. We know of no person who has gotten West Nile twice, so we believe that immunity after the first infection is lifelong. Can’t say what the side effects of prescriptions being given are without knowing what was given. We don’t know why some people have little or no symptoms and others become quite ill. Persons who develop severe neurologic disease are more likely to be older; have diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease; or are taking immunosuppressing drugs, such as chemotherapy.

    Thank you,

    Lyle R Petersen, MD, MPH
    Division of Vector-Borne Diseases

    I have had the WNV since 8/20/2012. It has been a month and I am not feeling that much better. I started with headaches then came the rash. The first week I was so sick that I could barely get out of bed. When I went to the doctor they told me I had food poisoning. I told them that I thought I had WNV, so my doctor decided to test me just in case. It took 7 days to get the preliminary results and two more weeks until it was confirmed. I am very frustrated with the lack of knowledge by the doctors. They just keep telling me to rest and let my body fight the virus. I am really scared that it is doing something to my brain. I can feel it inside me…. in my nervous system. Before this, I was very healthy… no medical problems at all.
    I am sure I got the virus in Yuba county, yet when I looked it up it says no cases have been reported from Yuba county. I live in Sacramento county so maybe they have included me in those numbers… either way I do NOT trust the numbers they are reporting.

    I got bitten by a mosquito yesterday (9/21/2012) , I had one to one and a half lines from it that looked like lines from blood poisoning does that mean WNV I have never had a bite do that before. Thanks

    What specifically is the CDC doing to PREVENT this disease other than say stuff like use DEET and don’t go outside when mosquitoes are most active? Is there a federal program or trigger point at which this Nation starts to direct and FUND aerial spraying? Why do people have to die in great numbers for people to get excited about this nationwide problem. The CDC stands for the Center for Disease CONTROL…it’s time the CDC start exercsing some control by destroying the killers that are killing and sickening people. The next thing that will happen is malaria,yellow fever or dengue fever. Its high time we start directing aerial and ground level spraying and fogging. We should also consider DDT in limited areas to control these killers. Yes, I said DDT. People are more important than animals including eagles. Americans should not have to worry if their children are safe outside because of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes kill and sicken more people in the world than any other cause; bar none.

    How many people die of mosquito borne illness per year in the United States. How many simply get sick, e.g seek treatment at a hospital/clinic etc?

    I contracted west nile in late May, 2012 while working in LA. I had all the symptoms of west nile fever. I now get head aches contantly, with ringing in my ears. (when not on pain meds) At the begining of may 2012 I had an anoying tickle in the back of my neck, and night sweats. I ran out of my pain meds on Sept. 22, 2012, and my body was tingley. The worst part of what I was feeling was a tingle or tickle in the back of my head/neck. This was very anoying and made me want to go crazy. I am 24 years old and have no spleen due to a bike wreck. When first diagnosed the west nile part of my blood was 4.1 and is now a 4.22. could this be west nile? I went to a nurologist on Sept. 28th, and was checked out and told that the symptoms that I was having were most likely not due to or related to the west nile virus. He then suggested an MRI. Yesterday the 1st of Oct. I was turned down for an MRI, because my bill is getting to high at the local clinic. Unless I pay $210/month the financial part of the hospital is not going to allow any more tests to be done (They say that it is non emergant). I don’t understand how they can do that when people have long term symptoms or even die. I had a good job with insurance before all this came about, but made to much money last year (I have allways been a hard and succesfull worker, and in good physical shape even without a spleen) to qualify for their financial assistance program. My wife and 2 month old son and I have been turned down for medicade, and have eshausted all savings. Lucky for us my grandparents opened their home to us, but that is soon to run out (Im sensing). What is a person to do then, or what would I have done without them in the first place because I sertainly couldn’t and still can’t sustain a job. Sure seems that people think that I’m lying. I can’t stand this crap!

    I’m 42, female, good health. Was in an area recently where the health department sent notices out saying west Nile encephalitis was confirmed in the area. This was two weekends ago. I was tested for west Nile today at doc’s office– flu test came out negative. At first I thought I had a stomach virus– diarrhea, nausea. Then the fatigue kicked in. Been sleeping 15-18 hours a day. Exhausted. Chills. Bad bad chills. Can’t eat… Smell of food makes me nauseous. Back and hips hurt. Can’t even sit up much.. Have to lie down. Lights bother me.. Need quiet. Most of the time wen awake I just sit and stare at walls. It is comforting. I’ve never been perfectly happy to stare at a wall. I’m frustrated because I can’t find much information how this progresses… For instance, how long did people have the milder symptoms before getting the brain swelling? Or does the brain swelling happen right away? All I keep reading is most people who have the virus don’t know it. I call BS on that– must be old information. Today, the headaches started… Behind the eyes and then to the back of the head. The doc’s office said results should be back next week. If I have west Nile, this SUCKS. It isn’t MILD. Up until last week I worked out with a trainer 3 days a week and did yoga 2 days a week and now I am lying on my back staring at a wall. CDC, please give us MORE information for people who DO have symptoms!!! thank you.

    Previously healthy female, age 54. Officially diagnosed with WNV in Oklahoma near the end of a six week unexplained illness. I thought I had a really bad case of flu in early June due to five days of 102 fever followed by weeks of headache, nausea, diarrhea, extreme muscle fatigue, and an unnatural irritability to visual and auditory stimuli. I finally went to my physician after signicant weight loss and erupting in a large, blotchy rash on my arms and legs. A blood test confirmed WNV. MY case was reported to our city Heath department per protocol, and I was interviewed by an Epidemiologist by phone regarding my symptoms, exposure location, etc. Although my appetite never fully recovered, I was feeling back to normal for at least a month,until last week, when I experienced five days of muscle fatigue, neck and headache, severe nausea and an oddly familiar mental fog. The doctors have said that WNV does not “flare up”. I don’t agree and I think there will be more anecdotal stories like mine.

    I was diagnosed with WNV in Sept 2005. First symptoms were body aches and slight fever. Within 24 hours it was severe aches…mostly in neck, shoulders and back…and terrible headache. I went to the Dr. after having symptoms for about 36 hrs and he ordered blood work for testing for Mono and then for WNV. At that time WNV testing had to be sent out and took a minimum of 5 days for a result. The immediate results were positive for Mono which was weird because I’d been tested a year or two earlier with negative results and I’d never had symptoms. In another 24 hours (2 1/2 days) I experienced serious weakness and began to break out everywhere in tiny, prickly little red dots (they didn’t itch; I could just feel when one was going to appear). At the thought that I might actually have Mono (without a sore throat, mind you), I immediately started a regime of extreme homeopathic antiviral treatment in order to try to “flush” the virus from my system. I drank a MINIMUM of one quart of water EVERY hour; and I took the following six to ten times per day: 500 mg of time released Ester C, 600 mg Kyolic Garlic and 250 mg Olive Leaf Extract. I also drank hot green tea (when I wasn’t drinking water!) and when I could stand to eat, made toast with light butter and fresh crushed garlic. Needless to say I wreaked of garlic, but because the initial diagnoses was that I had mono, I didn’t have to worry about visitors! At the 5 day mark, sure enough…the Dr.’s office called with a positive diagnosis of WNV. By that time, even though I was still pretty weak, most of symptoms were much less acute and the rash had disappeared. (I had talked to other people who said it was a month before they felt much better, so I think my anti-viral/water flush regime must have done some good!) About a month later I received a phone call from my County Health Dept. to ask about my illness and how I was recovering. I was still experiencing some weakness at that time, but felt like I had beaten the thing. They were very interested in how I treated the virus homeopathically. (Evidently at that time, a positive diagnosis was new enough in my area that the Colorado Health Depts were monitoring all reported cases. I’m not sure they still do that.) I’ve always wondered if I could contract the virus again; most sources say no. BUT…I about once every year or two I DO have flare ups that feel like I’ve got it again. They don’t last but a day or two, but it’s just awful. I’d really like to know for sure if it IS possible to have flare-ups or get it again. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone else who gets this big nasty…NO FUN at all!

    I contracted WNV 9/14 with initial flu like symptoms and tingling down my left arm. On day four my proximal and most of distal left arm went flacid. I was able to move my hand and had feeling. My flu like symptoms progressed until I went to MD on day seven. I was given anti-inflams for body aches and hold to take Tylenol for fever. On day nine I developed left facial paralysis. I went to ER was told I was probaley having a stroke. MRI was taken and came back negative. I was admitted for further work up to include spinal puncture which revealed elevated proteins and neutrophils and also had elevated creatinine. The doctors kept saying that it was not west nile but would do blood work to check for it . On day 14 3 days after I was released by hospital the department of health called to say I was positive for West Nile virus. I went another neurologist who said there was nothing that could be done for the paralysis of left arm and that time would determine the outcome. He stated a follow up nerve conduction test would be Performed following three months. This whole ordeal has been surreal and would like to know what vitamins people are taking and anything else that has helped with endurance

    I got west Nile virus in late august of 2011. I feel everyone should share their experiences so others may learn from their experiences. I am allergic to mosquitos. I tend to break out with a huge red mound wherever I am bitten that itches for days. I was outside walking my dog when I saw a mosquito land on my thumb and bite me. I smacked it killing the mosquito. I went to the doctor two days later rather nervous. I showed him the bite site. I still was presenting no symptoms at this time. The bite did not get inflamed or red. Instead it looked like a fire ant bite. A tiny white pimple like blister. No itching. The doctor examined me and said I am sorry but you don’t want to k ow what I think it is. I asked why. He explained that I would begin developing symptoms in the next two days if he was correct. Two days later I was hit with the feircest fever I had ever experienced . I was literally to sick to seek help. I was delirious and comatose for most of my experience. My whole family thought I was going to die. I pulled thru. But weeks later I still experienced the weakness. Today is January 2015. I still experience muscle fatigue very easily and extreme heat does make me have weird little relapses. I have very little memory of my illness I was unconscious for most of it and experienced extreme rage at the slightest thing. I’m glad I don’t remember to much it was scary. The problem I run into is the lack of answers for questions that worry me. Am I able to contract the disease again? Am I now a carrier if a mosquito bites me can it transfer the disease to others? Will I have these symptoms my whole life? So this is my story.

    On August 26, 2012, I experienced my first symptoms of WNV but had just realized that I had a UTI infection and thought my illness was from that and waited through the weekend to see my physician on Monday. By the time I saw him, I was extremely ill, with fever, and so weak I could barely walk or keep my balance. After considering these and other symptoms, he suspected WNV and took blood specimens which produced a positive result. For the following two weeks, I was in misery with high fever, tooth chattering chills, dehydration, body pain and total body weakness. For months, I had weakness and fatigue, could not do much of anything, and dropped 50 pounds. Since my illness, I have continuing UTI infections, one which required hospitalization, weakness, cognitive issues and muscle and joint pain and weakness which cause me to be a “fall risk”. I am 73 and was in good health before WNV. My doctor said I am lucky to be alive. Are there any studies concerning continuing or repeating WNV infections? My quality of life changed because of WNV.

    I was diagnosed with West Nile in 2002. Although I wasn’t hospitalized I suffered high fevers, rashes, irritability, mental fugue, chronic fatigue and intense joint ache and pain. Although I have been healthy and working full time as a nurse and still training horses, showing and generally outdoors a lot, I still feel “relapses?” Or that I get “reinfected” and above symptoms return although not nearly as bad. We’ve recently had a lot of rain, flooding, etc in our pastures and even though I spray down I still got bitten. Today I have that strange headache – like my head is full of air or something, slight fever, sleeping a lot but the tale tell sign is that “skin sensation like burning or tingling” Before I got diagnosed, I kept saying “my skin hurts”. Last night I felt like the people I was with were loud and talking too fast. My memory is bad and it’s starting to scare me. Is there any way I can become part of a test group? I’ve been thinking I have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis but everything is negative. Thank you for listening ….

    I as well had what they considered a “mild” case back in 2005. I had fatigue, fever, extreme shooting pain in my joints, a rash over my whole body, diarrhea and chills. Almost every year I have an episode of extreme cold and chills, along with fever and body aches. The fever breaks in a few hours and symptoms resolve. Right now I am going on 3 days with severe joint and body aches, low level nausea, headache and chills. Fever spikes in the late afternoon and breaks about 3 hours later. Fatigue and nausea has not gone away. Dizziness is bad as well.

    Have had west Nile since 2014 have severe joint pain feet pain trouble walking woke up one morning couldn’t move my legs has any body experienced this how long does it last

    on labor day weekend 2012 the symptoms of Wnv encephalitis hit me. I started getting a fever. Saturday i passed out in the kitchen. i was rushed to the hospital. they took a spinal tap and the results came back positive for Wnv. I reached fevers of 104.5,a rash and acute flaccid paralysis of the right leg.Spent 24 weeks of therapy at rehabilitation institute of Chicago. regained the use of my leg by may of 2013 and was driving a car and walking with a walker. I too don’t remember anything but bits and pieces when i woke up on sSept. 18. I ended up seeing some one for bits of anger and frustration about not getting any answers of what was going on. Now i have trouble walking because my leg gets week after i walk a certain distance. Not one doctor knows why or if it will come back. I guess we all are looking for answers but seems nobody knows.

    In September of 2015 I started getting pain in my right leg and muscle weakness. The fatigue was terrible and I felt like my brain had pressure on it. I had tingling sensations running throughout my body and was unable to sleep. I really didn’t have a high fever – low grade. I had to go to the ER and 2 clinics over a period of two weeks before I was diagnosed with WNV. Every doctor I went to told me a different story. I didn’t feel even close to normal for about 3 months. It is March of 2016 and I “relapsed” about two days ago with the mild form of fatigue, weird headache , brain fog and tingling sensations. Relapse is very real. I am 62 and had high blood pressure but nothing else. I have not felt the same energy level since contracting this. I did see a country doctor who had seen several cases and said that walking was the only thing he had seen that would eventually work out the muscle fatigue. I treated myself with essential oils and tons of antioxidant juices and vitamin C and lemon water and turmeric. I think it is simply a slow process of recovery with great self-care to get back to health. May God bless each of you on this journey.

    I too had West Nile Virus. As others have stated at the onset I knew somthing was wrong . I barely remember September 2015.
    March 2016 I have lasting vision problems in one eye am. afraid I will lose sight in that eye. Anyone else having eye problems due to WNV\WNE? The Optamalogist and Optometrists. I went to were not familiar with this.

    Four months ago at the age of 25 I was outside working on a project and getting bit by mosquitos. At that point I was in perfect health. A couple days later I was bedridden with flu like symptoms that lasted a week. I had never been so sick and wondered if I would pull through. I felt fine for a few days after and then it hit me again only this time instead of flu like symptoms I got extreme fatigue and headaches. I went to the Dr. and a few days later I was diagnosed with West Nile. At that point the initial illness had been gone and I was experiencing fatigue that would come and go, sometimes for days at a time. After a month I had felt “back to normal” for roughly a week and decided to go back to working on my project that involved extreme manual labor. Everything was fine and I had actually worked harder than most days. That night the fatigue hit me hard and suddenly, I almost fell asleep at the dinner table. Since then I have been feeling fatigued and slightly disorientated. I feel fine when I wake up and as soon as I get out of bed and get downstairs I start feeling malaise although the symptoms slowly improve throughout the day if I stay active and keep my mind off of it. I do feel back to “normal” at times; some days I feel better than before getting sick and other days I’m a wreck. In general I do feel a bit fatigued most of the time with mild brain fog. My short term memory doesn’t seem as sharp as it was prior although my long term memory seems intact, maybe even better due to “excercising my mind” (searching through memories etc.) I am four months in and am still improving though I’m definitely not back to where I was before getting infected. I do hope that there will be more research done on WN and hopefully a cure that will someday bring an end to the West Nile Nightmare.

    Hi my name is Trish and I am 45 yrs old . I too have been diagnosed with west nile virus, only my story seems a little different but yet the same . I have never been one to go to the doctor , not ever . So 3 yrs ago when I had what I thought was a severe cases of the flu. Not once but twice about 3 weeks apart. Was no different. But my husband & family had begun to say that they felt like I needed to go to the ER cuz it was day 7 of being bed ridden and puking my guts up and diareia could not stay awake. I was very sick , but i told my husband to give it one more day , if not better Id agree to go to the ER. But the next day it had finally broke and I was a little better . Besides weak snd extremely tired , and (which i continue to have daily )And so I still don’t ever imagine it being anything other than the flu, so 2 months later we traveled to Galveston island. And i had started noticing my legs cramping up and that I was needing to sit down several times just to walk with my famIly down the seawall. I excused it as may e arthritis and again never thought of West nile virus, but now almost 3 yrs later I have only progressed severely in the lower legs with pain and weakness , to the point that I can barely walk across a room and i have lost the job I had worked for 20 yrs . But I started seeing a doctor about a yr ago about what was happeing to my legs ? Maybe ms or lupus or something else and. Cuz at this point I have had my entire life taken away by this , literally . For every step I take is a challenge for me . So three doctors and 6 months later and after many if the lab test had come back very badly, and so my doctor sent me to a neurologist and a infectious control doctor. Did many more test including a spinal tap and nerve studies hiv/aids and many more lab tests and finally I’m told that I have had west nile virus , but not no more. Doctor said I had it 2-2 1/2yrs ago .. which is about the time I had been so sick with (flu)??. No . And he goes on to say that it can affect you in so many ways , from a mild headache to death, and that it could also have severe and life long affects on me (which would explain my legs )and losing my job and my way of life I had been living and now could no longer do . Cuz of the severity of the pain and weakness in the lower legs . I could walk short distances but then would have to sit and rest for just a minute then I could continue on with walking fora little bit then again I had to sit Cuz the weakness and pain would get to be unbearable, felt they could let go at any time if I did not sit quickly . I can not even go grocery shopping and my husband has now taken that responsibility for me . It is a lot put on him now which makes me feel hopeless . Now he is the only one working ( iv always worked my entire life ). But now he is paying all the bills and doing all the grocery shopping and even helping me clean and do house chores , cuz I can barely move around at all and live in constant non stop pain and stiffness 24/7. For 3yrs now . I can’t play with my grand babies or go do the adventures with my husband that has always been our thing . I just stay at home trying to figure out how I’m gonna get through life like this , cuz it’s no way of life to live for anyone , and prey that my sweet husband of 30 yrs, won’t get too tired of taking care of me , for I have no other family . And he deserves to continue living his life and not only having to care for me . What am I to do to get my life back and to get my legs going again . Or am I going to be this way for the rest of my pitiful life . Pain pills do not seem to help me in any way . And im beyond frustrated , and very depressed by all this.. from a misquito bite 3 yrs ago . The pain is unbearable and doctors don’t seem to know what to do , . It does not seem to be getting better and it’s hard to believe that it ever will either . But I’ll keep praying Cuz I’m too young for all this and I just want my life back to how it was , happy and ,healthy and able to do my part in life playbwith my grandbabies 2&4 again and mostly so my sweet husband can have his life back also . ?Thanks for reading my story,

    I believe that West Nile fever could be the modern version of The sweating disease of the 15th century
    Evidently at that time the outbreak was in London Calais and Hamburg ….all ports.. transported by infected fowl to all of those ports

    I’m so glad I found this page. I contracted the west nile virus in 2009 and was misdiagnosed and was told I had myasthenia Gravis. I found out for sure that I had WNV in 2015. It was a strong positive when they got my results. I am 44 and have still all the same issues I had when I first started them. I really want my town to do some education for the public but they say they will check into it. Nothing yet as I expected. I tell everyone I know that it is in our area. I wish more people would push the issue of the virus. I am willing to help in any way I can to push for more research if anyone is interested in checking it all out. Thanks from Kentucky God speed.

    l am sure that I got WNV 2 weeks ago. It’s August and flu is not usual at this time of year. I got 3 bites on my arm and 2 days later, I developed chills with low grade fever (100.7). Then a horrific headache. It throbbed with every move. Then the fever got worse. On day 3, it was up to 103. I started to have episodes of sweating. I woke up that night and the back of my nightgown and around the neck was wet. Day 4, the temp started back downward at 102. Day 5, 101. Day 6, 100. I had nausea (never vomitied) and horrible fatigue.

    It is now 2 weeks out and I still will break out in a sweat (dripping kind) randomly throughout the day. My temp will go from 98.6 to 100.5 off and on all day long. If I do anything strenous, the fatigue will come back.

    Got bite in 2005, still have recuring “nile” events. Fever, sweating, head pressure, leg muscle aches enough to keep you wide awake, kidney pain etc. Have not been able to identify the trigger if one exists. It is definately the gift that keeps on giving. So much for it being a once and done illness. It is frustrating to keep hearing the same lies from Medical professionals for this long. Wish you all well and keep your chin up for this too will pass, until next time

    I am very glad I found this blog! I am an active 56 year old female (or rather, I used to be active), and beginning in June, I began feeling like my right leg was on fire. It feels heavy with a deep burning pain. I can’t put my full weight on my leg without lots of pain. I have to two-step up stairs leading with my left leg. My dr. has conducted many tests: ct scans, 2 mri’s and lots of blood work. The blood tests yielded positive for WNV. While waiting for the blood work, I was sent to a neurologist for a nerve conduction study. That was a quite painful series of shocks! He said I have what he called Meralgia parasthetica which affects overweight people who where constrictive clothing. I weigh 130 lbs! I don’t wear tight clothing at all! I am wondering if this leg pain and weakness is all from WNV? Anyone with similar issues? Any suggestions for treatment?

    I also have West Nile and have learned more about what others have experienced with this disease than any other place I have read.

    I does not seem that many people have blogged on here since 2018 but considering my diagnosis of WNV in 2020 and me looking for answers as many others seemed to be I have decided to include my story and maybe I will confirm to some that as I feel many days crazy because how can a mosquito do this to one. Im 46yrs old I was very active before all of this I am overweight but that did not make me from continue to go. I am a Emt lifting pt and moving stretchers all the time went on deployment to hurricane laura August-October once I got back I started having leg pains went to the er thinking DVT or something found nothing was told to go back to primary after that was sent to neuro had extensive test done from eegs to legs, to mri’s, to lumbar punctures finally diagnosed w WNV. It is now march 2021 still not able to go back to work still have leg pains, fatigue, brain fog, have the good days and the bad. And I’m still being told you’ll get better everyone looks at you strange when your having a hard time walking and decide to take the cart because your just too tired to make it to the other end of the store. Dont know what to do about your job bc your still like wth and hoping it will all just go away and are told you should be ok soon but like someone said on here its been 3 yrs. I most definitely do my job? Wish there was more info more treatments something.

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Page last reviewed: March 20, 2015
Page last updated: March 20, 2015