The summer of 2012 found Dallas-Fort Worth at the center of the worst outbreak of West Nile Virus in a decade.
A year ago at this time, Dallas County had half a dozen confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus. The County was in the early stages of what would be of a full-blown West Nile crisis with 400 cases. Twenty people would die from it.
This year, only eight mosquitos have tested positive. We have entered the prime mosquito season with comparatively low numbers.
"The next three weeks is when we see our abundant mosquitos, where we see high numbers of mosquitos in the Dallas area," said Zach Thompson with Dallas County Health and Human Services. "We're not out of the woods yet. Let's not take the fact that we have no human cases as an opportunity to relax."
Officially, there are no human cases in Dallas but there is what Zach Thompson calls two asterisks, including Tim Crump. He nearly died in late June. He was hospitalized again with a severe relapse two Sunday's ago with what doctors told him was West Nile.
"It's right here black and white. West Nile positive," said Tim Crump.
Hospital paperwork shows two positive tests including the neuroinvasive strain. The state said Crump's case did not meet their criteria. Since then, he says he's been urged to have a spinal tap that could confirm the diagnosis. It's something he's decided is too dangerous.
"I'm not doing it. I went to my doctor Saturday, same thing. We discussed it. It's not worth it," said Crump. He's been told it could take up to a year to fully recover.
He hopes he's passed the worst of it. "Losing 44 pounds in three weeks is no fun. You hear about people getting it and you think they're old and they're tired they're worn out. Look I was fit, 100 percent in shape and it tore me up," he says. "I think the next three weeks are going to be critical."
There is a second asterisk case in Dallas County. Dr. Charles Tandy tested positive for the West Nile Virus but didn't meet all the state criteria. The 84-year-old former Dallas City Council member told FOX4's Richard Ray that he is doing better but still struggling, two months after he got sick and his doctors told him it was West Nile.
Dallas County is already doing a lot more mosquito trapping and testing. If more positive results and human cases of the virus start to show up, Zach Thompson has made it clear the county won't hesitate to begin aerial spraying.
Last summer, there was criticism from some that it took too long to spray the air. Others didn't think spraying was necessary.
KDFW FOX 4
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