Mosquitoes In Oklahoma Test Positive For West Nile Virus


Sunday, August 4th 2013, 10:48 pm
By: News 9


The virus that ended the lives of 15 Oklahomans last year has surfaced again. The Health Department confirms Mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus for the first time this summer.

Nathan Johns spent 10 months in the hospital and had to be put into a coma after getting West Nile. He hopes his story serves as a warning to all Oklahomans.

"My best friend is a quadriplegic, and I've never heard him complain," said Johns.

Through family and friends, Nathan Johns remains positive about being wheelchair bound and having limited movement in his hands. But it was a much bleaker picture less than a year ago, when doctors sent him home for something they thought was minor.

"I was shaking on my right side, and I wasn't even aware at this point. I went back to the hospital and I was there for 10 more months," Johns said.

West Nile Virus was attacking Johns' nervous system. He could barely breathe and had to be put into a coma to maintain his oxygen levels.

"Probably the one person that didn't give up was my wife. She never thought that I wasn't going to get out," Johns said.

Johns' is now on the long road to recovery.

"They don't know if all the nerves will come back, but if they do come back there's a good chance of walking again."

According to the Oklahoma Health Department, Johns was one of 163 confirmed cases of West Nile in the state in 2012, 15 of those cases were deadly. July through October are considered the peak months for West Nile and we've had much more rain this year.

Johns says a few cans of bug spray may not be cheap, but it's less expensive that spending 10 months in the hospital.

"It's been a really grueling year and I don't want others to experience this."

So far, no humans have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Oklahoma this year. But mosquitos in Tulsa County have.