As more mosquitoes in Northeast Indiana test positive for West Nile virus, a Kendallville woman is sharing her story in hopes it inspires others to take precautions against the virus.
”I’m still in pain every day, some days are worse than others,” said Jane Myers, a West Nile virus survivor.
Jane says she would not wish her pain on anyone. It’s been nearly 12 years since her diagnosis and she’s still battling symptoms.
“Sometimes it’s debilitating nerve pain the later in the day it goes,” said Myers. “I have trouble recalling words, probably daily headaches, exhaustion.”
Jane never thought a mosquito bite would change her life the way it has. That’s why she wants others to take precautions now.
“They need to take it seriously, it is out there, and it’s under reported and its not rare if it happens to you.”
Throughout Indiana, 43 counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. In Allen County, experts are seeing a rise in the number of mosquitoes carrying the disease.
“So far we’ve had 43 positive samples out of 182 that we’ve tested,” said David Fiess, director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health. “When you calculate it, that’s a pretty high positivity rate.”
Health officials say most people bitten show no systems, but in some cases, severe neurological symptoms, coma and even death can occur. Experts say while there is no need to panic, you should be vigilant.
“We just ask people to eliminate those standing water, those buckets of water, those tires on their property and wear your bug repellent,” said Fiess.
Jane is making it her life’s mission to spread awareness about West Nile virus. In 2009, she started a support group on Facebook for people dealing with the virus. The group now has 1,600 members from all across the country. You can ask to join the group by following this link.