Jackson Co. man almost dies from West Nile Virus - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. man almost dies from West Nile Virus

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Joe Conn feels lucky to be alive. The 60-year-old was diagnosed with West Nile Virus last month and spent two weeks in the hospital. It could take months if not years for him to make a full recovery. Joe Conn feels lucky to be alive. The 60-year-old was diagnosed with West Nile Virus last month and spent two weeks in the hospital. It could take months if not years for him to make a full recovery.
Although it's impossible to prove, family members and friends of Joe Conn believe the mosquito that bit him, giving him West Nile, came from an unfilled drainage ditch behind their homes. And they want something done about it. Although it's impossible to prove, family members and friends of Joe Conn believe the mosquito that bit him, giving him West Nile, came from an unfilled drainage ditch behind their homes. And they want something done about it.
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

One month ago, Joe Conn was the picture of health. Now, the picture has changed. A walker is the only way he can get around now. Even before a visit to the doctor, the Jackson County man knew something was wrong.  

"I had no energy, no nothing. You just get down to where you can't do nothing and then I got sick," Conn recalled.

Conn was hospitalized for two weeks. At one point, it was so bad, he thought he might die.

"Yes, I was, I sure was. Right after they put me in the hospital, I was," Conn said. 

Family and friends help him these days, but that leaves him feeling very frustrated.

"I can't do nothing for myself hardly. I have to get my wife to help me to the bathroom and everything and if I need something, I can't get up and go get it. I've got to depend on somebody else," Conn lamented. 

But he's also a man of deep faith, and that has helped. 

"If it hadn't been for the prayers people sent up for me and giving the doctors the knowledge to do what they needed to do," Conn said.

Although it's impossible to prove, family members and friends of Joe Conn believe the mosquito that bit him, giving him West Nile, came from an unfilled drainage ditch behind their homes. And they want something done about it. 

"For four years, we have tried to get this ditch cleaned out over here," Joe's wife, Ann Conn said. "365 days a year, water stands in it. Mosquitoes are breeding in it. But if the mosquitoes don't have anywhere to breed, then maybe we could be rid of this."

Even so, the future remains uncertain when it comes to a full recovery for Joe.

"It might take two to three years or it might take forever. I might never get any better."

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus (WNV) infection?

Updated:

Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.

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