Father of West Nile Virus Victim Speaks Out

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

The state health department now reports nine human cases of the West Nile virus in Brazos County, and one of those victims is a 28-year-old Bryan woman.

Bryan resident, Bill Rivers, says his daughter, Leslie, started feeling sick in August. They thought she was just tired at first, but then the symptoms grew worse. Rivers says his daughter had lower back pains, a 104 degree fever, and she was dehydrated.

“I told my wife, "These are very similar to the symptoms of West Nile",” said Rivers.

They decided to take Leslie to the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan.

“They did not automatically administer a West Nile test,” said Rivers. “And so I was a bit concerned about that until I realized that the treatment that she got would have been the same regardless if it was positive or negative for West Nile.”

That's because there's no cure for West Nile. The only way to prevent getting the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

Luckily Leslie pulled through and she's back in good health, but her family is concerned for other possible victims.

“There were several other people in the ER that night with the exact same fever of unknown origin. I'm just worried that we had to request a test and it came out positive...and not everybody is going to request a test. I'm just worried that the number we're seeing is under-reported and that people aren't going to take it seriously,” said Rivers.

Rivers says he’s also concerned that public officials won't have the right information to address the problem accordingly.

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes occurred on the Texas A&M Campus Wednesday morning.
Health Department officials say they are planning to continue combatting the problem by spraying in locations where mosquitoes test positive.

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