LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A second West Nile virus case has been detected in Southern Nevada for 2019, the Southern Nevada Health District announced Monday.
Officials said a woman under the age of 50 has the serious neuroinvasive form of the virus and has been hospitalized. It is unclear how or where the woman contracted the virus.
“With a second case of West Nile virus, it is important to remind everyone that this is a preventable disease,” said SNHD chief health officer Dr. Joe Iser in a release. “By taking some simple steps, you can protect yourself from mosquito bites at home and when you are traveling this summer. It’s also important to eliminate mosquito breeding around your home to protect yourself and your family.”
Diana Mitchell, a woman recently diagnosed with West Nile virus, said she couldn’t walk for weeks. At first, doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. In June, she came down with a number of symptoms including fever, nausea, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea and the chills.
She said she thought she had food poisoning so she went to the hospital.
“They did blood work and urine and said we don't see nothing so they sent me home. I could barely walk,” Mitchell said.
She went back a few days later.
“X-rays, MRI, and the EKG ... and they did a spinal tap. They said everything came back negative so I said I want to go home,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell managed to fly to Arlington, Virginia for her grandfather's funeral.
“It was excruciating.”
Aside from the pain of losing a family member, Mitchell said she started to feel better. Until she got back to Las Vegas in early July.
“Thursday, my speech started like this and my shaking of my - I got the tremors. Friday, I felt like I was having a heart attack,” Mitchell said.
She went back to the hospital and doctors diagnosed her with West Nile virus.
Mitchell said she started having symptoms about two weeks after she took a trip to Lake Havasu, Arizona.
“I texted my friends -- there was five of us. I guess I had the best blood,” Mitchell said. “I knew there was gnats.”
She said she didn't think about mosquitos in Arizona.
The Health District can't tell for sure where Mitchell got West Nile virus but they were testing mosquitos around her house.
There's no cure or treatment for the virus.
“It's just a waiting game, they said.”
She said she can't work until the doctors say so. Two of her four kids and two of her grandkids live with her. She usually supports them, but for now, they're taking care of her.
“We're going to get through it and I have good kids and family to give me positive thoughts ... one day at a time, right?”
The first case of West Nile was reported in April with a woman over the age of 50 with the neuroinvasive version of the virus but has since recovered.
Neither woman was identified directly by the Health District.
SNHD said there were no reported human cases of West Nile virus in Clark County last year.
Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.