Chances are, some of you have a mosquito bite right now.
We're going into the peak season of the West Nile virus and
while the chances are slim, don't think you can't get it.
What happened to Mallory Cook is proof. Her story starts in
Memphis. It was summer time.
"I was probably swimming or outside at a cookout," Cook
Two weeks later, she started feeling awful. She says she
couldn't even hold herself up.
" Very dizzy, weak. We decided to go to the hospital when I
couldn't get out of the bathtub and I had to call my dad to help me out," she
She says her blood count was so low, she was told by doctors
there was a chance she had leukemia.
" I'm pretty sure I started balling my eyes out. I was
terrified. I don't think I slept for the next couple of days," she said.
Turns out, she had the West Nile virus. It lives in birds.
Mosquitoes bite birds. When those mosquitoes bite us, that's when we get sick.
"If you're a healthy person, most of the time you're not
going to get severe diseases. Most of the time you won't have any symptoms at
all, mild fever or headache," said. Dr. Jon McCullers.
Dr. McCullers specializes in infectious diseases.
He says you could be infected with West Nile and not even
Less than one percent of people who are infected become severely ill. Usually it's those who are older or kids.
So why Mallory?
"We don't know why some people might get it and others
don't. It has something to do with exposure and immunity," said Dr. McCullers.
Health experts say the chances anyone will get West
Nile are highest in August, but there is some good news.
"Now that most of the population has been exposed, most of
us aren't going to get sick, but make sure you protect yourself," he warned.
You don't have to tell Mallory twice.
How to protect yourself from West Nile Virus: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/link/644571/how-to-protect-yourself-from-west-nile-virus
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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