Suspected West Nile case in Cape Girardeau man - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Suspected West Nile case in Cape Girardeau man

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (IKFVS) -

There's boom in West Nile cases across the country, and now it might have hit one man right here in the Heartland.

"Nobody thinks it's going to happen to them but it happened to us," said Debbie Ebaugh.

Ebaugh said her husband Rick Ebaugh felt sick for months.

"What was it, what was happening, you just didn't know," said Ebaugh.

Tuesday, Ebaugh took her husband to the hospital after he suffered a second seizure. She said St. Louis doctors diagnosed him Thursday with West Nile Virus by doing a spinal tap.

"I don't know where it really came from, all I know is he has it," said Ebaugh.

She said he needed help getting from one place to another. She said he was extremely tired, and would fall asleep at work. She said he was throwing up a lot. Ebaugh said when Rick Ebaugh suffered the first seizure, they thought he might have experienced a stroke. She said he's lost close to 20 pounds.

Ebaugh said it's been a rough road up to this point.

"I know that we can't cure this, but at least today I have a name for it," said Ebaugh.

She said she wants other people to know it could happen to them too.

"I hope people will take it seriously because we're not outdoors people, we have a deck and we don't hike and all of this, and it happened to us," said Ebaugh.

She said now Rick Ebaugh will most likely go through physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Vanessa Landers with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department said they do not have any confirmed cases of West Nile in Cape County, but said it's always important to be careful.

"If something doesn't go away and it persists, it tends to get worse, you're feeling bad, you really need to see a physician there's so many things out there that mimic each other," said Landers.

Landers said don't just assume you have the common cold if you feel ill.

"There could be a fever there could be aches and pains, there could be flu like symptoms," said Landers.

She said if people avoid the doctor because they're worried about a high cost, it could only get worse.

"If you think it's going to be expensive now, if you put it off, then the expense could rise and you could be in a worse situation not only financially, but health wise," said Landers.

Landers said you can take some cautionary measures to try to prevent West Nile, and other harmful diseases. She said spray bug spray when you're outside, and remove any standing water near your home.

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