Gary Gavreledes was diagnosed with West Nile Virus late last month
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A Las Vegas man is recovering after he was infected with West Nile virus. Gary Gavreledes, 64, was seriously ill for weeks, according to his family who spoke with FOX5 Monday.
Last week, the Southern Nevada Health District reported the county has already seen five cases of West Nile virus in 2012. Gavreledes is one of them.
He is still too weak to speak on camera, but his family said it has been a terrifying three weeks and they're just happy he's alive.
"He said, ‘I didn't feel good. I have a headache. My legs hurt,'" recalled Cheryl Gavreledes, Gary's wife who knew something was wrong when he came home sick from work.
The next morning, Gary Gavreledes' illness became significantly worse and he was rushed to the hospital.
"He was in intensive care, 105 temperature and [doctors] asked us questions, if we live near water," Cheryl Gavreledes said.
The Gavreledes' home sits on the lake inside the Desert Shores community near Lake Mead and Buffalo. Gary Gavreledes would sometimes sleep outside when the weather was nice.
"He'd go out in the yard, pull up a lawn chair, put a blanket on and he'd fall asleep under the stars," Cheryl Gavreledes said.
For a week, the family waited for answers - and finally it came. Gary Gavreledes tested positive for West Nile virus, which is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito - and has no cure.
Most adults can be infected and show no symptom, but for the very young and people older than 50, it can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. A 75-year-old woman in Clark County died after contracting the virus this year.
"Anything that is going to cause a person's immune system to be less than what it should be is going to increase the likelihood they will show symptoms and will have the severe form of the illness," said Devin Barrett, disease investigation specialist at the Southern Nevada Health District.
No definitive connection has been made as to the location where Gary Gavreledes was bitten by the infected mosquito. Barrett told FOX5 in a previous interview that infected mosquitoes have been found throughout the valley and can affect any area, especially near standing water.
Gary Gavreledes was released from the hospital, but still requires a lot of medical attention.
"He's half the man he was and we're hoping for the best, and every day is a struggle pretty much," said Gavreledes' son, also named Gary.
Doctors and health officials advise using insect repellent or long clothing while outdoors, especially during dusk and dawn.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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