West Nile Virus: Fresno Attorney Fights For His Life - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

West Nile Virus: Fresno Attorney Fights For His Life

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -  A Fresno man is sending a warning to the public right now, "Don't think it couldn't happen to you."

He says West Nile Virus is out there and you need to protect yourself.

Local attorney Jim Wasson says last month, he contracted the virus after swimming at his southeast Fresno home, near Belmont Country Club in the area of Belmont and DeWolf.

Wasson says, "You know I lift my arm up and that is it, I have no control over it, and that really scared me."

Wasson says July 20th, he woke up with a slight fever, and headache.

Days later he couldn't move his right arm.

Doctors ruled out a stroke.

A spinal tap confirmed it was West Nile Virus.

However, that was only the beginning of Wasson's health problems.

Wasson's wife, Denise says, "The test came back on the 25th of July and it was West Nile.

Then my husband suffered from encephalitis, then spinal meningitis, it just ran the gamete. Anything that could happen did. He literally fought for his life. He almost died, he fought for his life."

Wasson says, "It's just kicked me. Psychologically for me just lay in bed I wondered why I don't have any more energy. All I can do is just enough to pull the covers over me. All because of one little mosquito, I tell you what I wish I hadn't gone outside."

Wasson says since his positive test, Fresno County Department of Health workers placed traps around his home and caught even more positive West Nile Virus mosquitoes.

Wasson says, "Wear protective clothing in the evening and early in the morning. It's so important that one little mosquito bite can change your life, it sure changed mine."

Wasson will continue his therapy to regain the use of his right arm at San Joaquin's Rehab hospital.

He says what keeps him going is to warn others to protect themselves against the virus.

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