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West Nile Victim in Columbus

Posted by Jennifer Ortega | August 05, 2012 / 03:53pm | Local News
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- It's a virus that we know to come from Africa, being carried among mosquitoes and transferred through the blood. One local woman that suffers from the West Nile virus and how she fights day by day to stay alive. "I can feel my body trying to breakdown, it's not fun," says Mary Yearby, victim to the West Nile virus. Mary Yeardy says her camping trip in 2007 changed her life, after she was bitten by a mosquito on her leg. She was diagnosed with the West Nile virus

. The West Nile virus has been seen in Africa, Europe and parts of North America, being transferred by mosquitoes through the exchange of blood. Minor infections can last a couple of weeks with symptoms like headaches, fever and weakness. In extreme cases it could leave the victim in a coma. Mary says she has almost aged overnight. "I got bite right here, my left leg, back of my left leg, well I'm a diabetic so I went in for a check up. I told him I had got bitten but you know I did not think anything. That was the beginning and the end of that life," added Mary. It's a virus that Mary says has made her worse day by day, sometimes making her unable to leave her home. "It's rougher than somebody having a heart attack and just going, you see her just going down hill. She got it. It's just shocking that you get it then it starts eating up your bones," says her husband Nick Yearby.

It has been five years since she was diagnosed with the virus. Mary part of a select few who are living with the permanent affects of the disease. She is unable to work, gets regular headaches and her speech has slowed. Instead of taking care of her family members, now they take care of her. Her husband is unsure as to where she got it. "It's not common and we didn't know where she got it at, here or up at the camp house at the edge of Mississippi," added Mr. Yearby. Mary keeps positive about her health improving. She wants others to be aware of the virus and the damage it can cause. Mary continues to take medication but her doctor does not see any progress.
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