Patient talks about west nile virus experience

Mark Gardner says he's taking advantage of Easter Break and the milder temperatures to mow the lawn.
Not much here he says until the temperatures start to warm up..but just behind those temperatures, mosquito season. Until last year he didn't give much thought to the mosquito carrying disease West Nile Virus.
" I considered it an east coast thing, wetlands area problem and not, not here I knew it was slowly coming this way but I didn't think it was a problem I had to worry about."
Gardner says he likes to golf and plays on a softball team. Although he has no proof, he thinks that's where he may have received the mosquito bite that changed his understanding of west nile virus to first hand knowledge.
He says he started feeling sick in late July by August 3rd he was in the hospital. ": Went in on a Friday because I couldn't keep any food down, it had almost been ten days when I had eaten last, and then I went back in the following tuesday through Saturday."
Gardner spent a total of five days at Carson Tahoe Hospital..diagnosis included a spinal tap. But getting a name for what was causing his headaches, vomiting, temperature, and tiredness wasn't enough..he still had to work through the disease for a total of four months.
" Completely just energy level. You know I am standing all day when I am teaching the kids, and moving around and I had to just sit down, I couldn't do what I normally could."
Gardner says he takes last year's episode all in stride. He says he'll take more precautions this year like wearing long sleeve shirts, and insect repellant. His main concern he says is his daughter Kendra...18-months now he says when summer comes, he won't take her outside near sundown when mosquitoes feed. "Yea If she got it, from what they say, she wouldn't have made it through that."
State officials say they expect this year's West Nile Season to be about the same as last. But they add for areas of the state that have been exposed to this virus in the lst three years, they may see a slight decrease in bird infections.
Keep in mind west nile does not spread person to person.


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