In a tragic turn of events, the West Nile virus is known to have claimed another life. Another elderly woman succumbed to the disease at the hospital. The 78-year-old woman named Karen Kennedy, died earlier last month. This has left the family and the community aghast.
Laura Downie, her second daughter, explained how events had transpired. Since she lived alone for a long time, the daughters would make frequent calls to check up on her. However, after a few days, she stopped all communication abruptly and that is when Downie went down to her mother’s home.
A Family’s Heart-Wrenching Battle With West Nile Virus
When she reached, her mother had fainted on the couch and that is when she was rushed to the hospital. Talking about the condition, Downie said, “And then they said we think she might have West Nile virus and brain inflammation as a result of it.
This is a woman not even a week before, we were at lunches and parades and now they’re saying she wasn’t going to make it and so, I mean we had to make the toughest decision of our lives to take her off of life support.” Initially, the doctors thought that she had a severe case of pneumonia which could have escalated to sepsis.
West Nile Virus Threat: Mosquito Surge Sparks Concern In Larimer County
The cases have caused mass hysteria since there have been over 29 cases in Larimer County alone. Elaborating on the situation, Greg Abel, the director of the Centre for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases at Colorado University said, “We’ve seen extraordinarily high numbers of vector mosquitoes, mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus.
Culex Tarsalis numbers are over ten times what we typically see.” For the unversed, this typical variety transmits West Nile Virus more than any other kind. He further added, “It has to do with a couple of things. One is just how we use land here. There is a lot of irrigated agriculture. We have a lot of smallish bodies of water where mosquitoes like to breed. And we have a lot of people who live here. Put those two things together and you’re going to get cases of West Nile.”
Officials believe most water was left after the winter ended. The ice melted and it left puddles all over the roads. It is a popular fact that mosquitoes use water as breeding grounds. They further give a word of caution as the cases are expected to be on the rise since winter is nowhere around.
Remembering A Life, Raising Awareness
Speaking about the personal loss Kelly Glenn, the victim’s daughter said, “She really instilled in us to just live each day to the fullest, be positive, love other people. She was a nurse, she was very into healthcare. So she would want people to know, let my story do something for others.”
The Centers for Disease Control put up a notice asking people to prepare for the coming events by destroying water grounds in the backyard, wearing full-sleeve clothes, putting on mosquito repellent, and stopping taking walks during peak hours. However, as it seems there is no end to the rising numbers. Downie, Kennedy’s daughter also quipped, “Maybe hearing this story some people will put on some mosquito repellent and take this really seriously because it took our mom.”
What adds to the already critical situation is the absence of a vaccine. There is no real treatment schedule available to treat the affected ones either. Elderly people are most prone to the disease with their weak immune system while the community has a large population of 50-year-olds and more. There has been no official statement yet about the condition of the coming weeks. People are still asked to maintain caution on their own and their family members.
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