Dr. Vann Craig still feels the effects West Nile took on his body nearly two months after being infected.
Physical therapy is helping the retired surgeon and Director of the Board of Medical Licensure regain strength.
Craig didn't have the classic symptoms of the virus after being bit in early July. He felt weak and had a loss of appetite. After feeling sick for a couple of days, he finally had to see a doctor.
"I fell by the side of my bed and I couldn't get up. I was that weak," recalls Craig.
He spent about a week in the hospital and doesn't remember hardly any of his time there. Doctors told Craig's family he may not survive.
He compares West Nile to Polio because of its neurological effects.
"I don't think the general population understands this disease and how bad it can be, and I don't think the physicians in the southeastern united states understand how bad it can be."
Methodist Rehab Neurologist Dr. Art Leis says people diagnosed with West Nile either have neuro-invasive disease or benign West Nile fever.
His research of 90 samples shows 40 percent of those with the benign virus had brain and spinal cord proteins in their blood stream.
"This is fairly strong evidence that even in the so-called benign West Nile fever cases, we're actually seeing some destruction of brain and spinal cord. And, this offers the first explanation for why these patients who are supposed to have a limiting or self-limiting type of illness, why they have all these re-occurring, lingering symptoms," says Leis.
The symptoms, which can last for months, include fatigue, lack of concentration, and difficulty sleeping.
Leis believes West Nile is more neuro-invasive than first thought, which could result in a second condition known as myasthenia gravis. That condition destroys how nerves talk to muscles in the body.
"It makes them think that they have west Nile fever or west Nile virus infection all over again, and it's been very hard to sort out which is which because there are a lot of overlapping symptoms," Leis.
His research has been published in Muscle and Nerve Journal.
There is no cure for West Nile and Leis believes prevention is the only way to combat the problem.
Leis believes the number of West Nile cases and patients across the country will reach record, even epidemic numbers this year.
Monday, December 9 2013 10:31 AM EST2013-12-09 15:31:33 GMT
JPS parents were warned on Sunday there may not be bus service for Monday. Wednesday drivers stopped picking up and dropping off students in a protest against low pay and working conditions. AroundMore >>
Jackson Public School parents received an automated message via phone on Sunday stating there may not be bus services for Monday.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 3:16 AM EST2013-12-09 08:16:15 GMT
Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.More >>
At a vigil held Saturday for Destinee Ford classmates said if Jackson Public School bus drivers had not been on strike, Destinee would have been on her regular bus and not caught in the crossfire.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:02 AM EST2013-12-09 14:02:15 GMT
A shooting Saturday night has left one person dead. Three people shot Michael Tiger Robinson ,found dead inside the VFW. One person has been charged with 1st degree murder. Wade Carter shot at river rgionMore >>
An overnight shooting in Vicksburg has left one man dead and two others injured.More >>
By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer As college football prepares for the final Bowl Championship Series, featuring a Florida State-Auburn championship game, it's easy to see why the...More >>
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Wednesday, December 4 2013 12:42 AM EST2013-12-04 05:42:35 GMT
MADISON COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – A mother is facing charges after she allegedly left her children in a bedroom with drugs and a corpse. According to Richmond police, around 8:30 a.m. on November 30 officersMore >>
According to Richmond police, around 8:30 a.m. on November 30 officers responded to a home in Dixie Plaza on a report a 24-year-old man had overdosed.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-09 04:29:13 GMT
One man was fatally shot outside a nightclub in Holmes County early Sunday morning. Holmes County Sheriff Willie March has just confirmed the shooting death of Lavelle Lacy. March said Lacy was in hisMore >>
One man was fatally shot outside a nightclub in Holmes County early Sunday morning.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:17 PM EST2013-12-09 02:17:58 GMT
Some wheel chair bound residents in the Capital City claim they are being forced to ride in the street while traveling areas that have no sidewalks. Fifty five year old Clifton Bailey has not had theMore >>
Some wheel chair bound residents in the Capital City claim they are being forced to ride in the street while traveling areas that have no sidewalks.
Sunday, December 8 2013 8:41 PM EST2013-12-09 01:41:19 GMT
JACKSON – Bullfighting made its way to the Capitol City over the weekend, but the event was not welcomed with open arms. Organizers hoped the turnout would have been better at the State Fairgrounds, butMore >>
Bullfighting made its way to the Capitol City over the weekend, but the event was not welcomed with open arms.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 5:46 PM EST2013-12-08 22:46:05 GMT
A former Jackson Police Department narcotics officer has filed a notice that he intends to plead guilty in a federal bribery case. An attorney filed the notice in U.S. District Court in Jackson on behalfMore >>
A former Jackson Police Department narcotics officer has filed a notice that he intends to plead guilty in a federal bribery case.More >>
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