West Nile virus in Richmond, victim recovering - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

West Nile virus in Richmond, victim recovering

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- We are learning more about the serious case of West Nile in Virginia. The first case of the season was reported in Richmond in July.

The victim is in his 60's, a vulnerable age to catch the virus. He is from Richmond and works outdoors often. We're told he had some severe symptoms, including meningitis. If it wasn't for a trip to the hospital, things could have been much worse.

It's hot. It's muggy. And it's prime time for mosquitoes. In fact, just working on this story this morning, one flew on reporter Gene Petriello and bit him.

Chuck Richardson knows how aggressive these little bugs are these days. He was in Byrd Park one evening recently, trying to hit some golf balls and the mosquitoes chased him away.

"It was two guys, us out here chipping and the mosquitoes were bad. We could not stand out here no more than 5 minutes," says Chuck.  

Richmond Health Leaders say one man didn't avoid the mosquitoes. He ended up with West Nile and he got very sick. But he's doing okay now.

"Well, that's enough to make me concerned," adds Richardson.  

So too are the people in the health building. That's why they are warning you now about West Nile. Health leaders say all it takes is just a teaspoon of water for a mosquito to breed and breed quickly, especially in the hot weather. That can happen within a week.

So, here's what you need to do. First, get rid of mosquito breeding grounds -- like buckets old tires toys and anything that's filled with water. Also, don't go outside when mosquitos are most active -- during the early morning and evening hours. Finally, fill in ditches and holes where mosquitos can take up shop.

"Just because of the misery and discomfort I'm going to spray something on me to keep them from biting," adds Chuck. Especially, because you never know when one bite can be deadly. 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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