Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Couple: Living With West Nile Virus a Challenge

Dallas man with serious form of disease contracted virus 10 years ago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ran Kilpatrick is still fighting with West Nile Virus, a disease he contracted virus 10 years ago. (Published Thursday, Aug 2, 2012)

    A Dallas couple says West Nile virus has changed their lives forever.

    Ran Kilpatrick, contracted the virus 10 years ago, has short-term memory loss and seizures.

    "My heart gets to beating real fast, and I ... have to stop, take a few deep breaths. I get shaky and dizzy and just my symptoms go berserk," he said.

    His wife, Rebecca Kilpatrick, said she always checks up on him because he has seizures on a nearly daily basis.

    "I have to make sure I know where he's at, what he's doing, who he's with," she said.

    Kilpatrick said he doesn't remember getting bitten or much time before that.

    "I don't remember that summer at all, I mean, literally, at all," he said. "I don't remember the school year beforehand, or anything like that."

    Dr. Chris Perkins, Dallas County health department medical director/health authority, said Ran Kilpatrick's symptoms sound like the most severe form of West Nile virus, the neuroinvasive form that affects the nerve system.

    "They have severe headache, neck stiffness, forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, disorientation," Perkins said. "They might start having paralysis or advance to having seizures."

    He said there is no cure for West Nile virus, saying doctors can just treat the symptoms. The damage is irreversible, he said.

    Less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus will experience the serious form of the illness. Most people bitten by a West Nile virus-infected mosquito will not show any symptoms.

    Dallas County has seven confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Dallas, Richardson and Irving.

    The city of Dallas will spray for mosquitoes in several areas from 10 p.m. Friday night until 3 a.m. Saturday. The city sprayed near Dallas Love Field on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.


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