Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Tarrant County Man Battles West Nile

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Barney McCollum says he doesn't spend a lot of time outdoors, but he does do yard work, and that's how he contracted West Nile Virus.

    Tarrant County resident Barney McCollum is fighting a battle he never expected, last Friday doctors diagnosed him with West Nile.

    "It was over a weekend and I just didn't feel right. I felt run down very tired," McCollum said.

    The Fort Worth resident believes he was working in his front yard when a mosquito bit him on the leg.

    That week he started to experience flu-like symptoms.

    "Muscle aches and muscle weakness. I started having some sweats, fever," he said.

    Shortly after that McCollum developed a rash on his body.

    "It was on the chest and back. It was kind of raised, small welts," he said.

    McCollum went to his doctor and four days later his blood test came back, testing positive for West Nile.

    Since then McCollum said he's experienced "delirium-type" of sleeping with wild dreams and night sweats. He said slowly his symptoms are getting better.

    “"I'm feeling stronger, but I still go through dizzy spells and when I feel like I need to lie down, I'll lay down," he said.

    McCollum said he's lucky, considering the virus has already claimed the lives of two North Texans.

    McCollum, who is in his early 50s and he anticipates a full recovery but wants his story to be a warning for other North Texans that no one is immune to the virus.

    "It warrants being careful," he said. "Doing all we can do to prevent it. And not just prevent it, but combat it."


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