(WMC-TV) - Last year during the Fourth of July holiday, a Mid-South man was shaken by a fever and dehydration. Doctors said he tested positive for West Nile Virus.
"In the woods, up in the hills, you're gonna get tick bit, and if you're down in the bottoms, you know, down by the rice fields, you're gonna get mosquito bit," said West Nile survivor Jim Green. "It's just a way of life."
But the way Green started feeling last summer, was not his way of life.
"It was about the Fourth of July and I just started feeling like I had a fever sometimes ... It was coming on just ... Every day or two I'd start feeling bad again and then I'd kinda get over it," said Green.
He brushed off his symptoms as dehydration from working outside until one afternoon at work when he could not stop throwing up.
"I just kept on getting worse, and worse, and worse," said Green recalling the episode.
Then, just over 24 hours later, the headaches started. The pain became unbearable.
"I couldn't get out of bed ... because my head hurt so bad," said Green. "They put me in the hospital, immediately. They took one look at me and said, 'Yeah, you need to go in and go to the hospital.' "
Along with all the other aches and pains, Green learned he had spinal meningitis. And for a while, it was believed he had tick fever.
Although, a trip to an infectious disease doctor proved otherwise. That doctor called it a nondescript virus, but later checkups revealed something Green never imagined.
"He was keying on his computer, doing his charting and stuff and he said, 'I never checked you for West Nile.' and everything kind of changed right, then," said Green.
Green's blood test was positive for the West Nile Virus which includes side effects like spinal meningitis or encephalitis.
"It's only like one percent of the people who have West Nile, from what Dr. Abraham told me, that would come up with some of these really bad things," said Green.
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