After about a month of recovery, Evan Webb, junior business management major from Houston, is nearly back to normal despite having contracted West Nile Virus.
Webb first saw symptoms of the virus as he was driving back from San Antonio on Sep. 23.
“I felt my vision close in,” said Webb, “and all of a sudden I had no idea what was happening. So I pulled over and turned the car off.”
Webb immediately passed out in his vehicle, but luckily his girlfriend Courtney Martin, junior youth and family ministry major from San Antonio, had been driving back in the vehicle in front of him and was able to pull over and help.
“She was definitely freaking out but she did a good job of keeping her composure for the most part,” said Webb. “I’m proud of her.”
Martin proceeded to take Webb to the nearest hospital in Junction where he underwent tests. He was later transferred to San Angelo where doctors cycled through possible diagnosis such as a seizure, migraines, an aneurism or tumors.
It wasn’t until a week later after undergoing an MRI and multiple brain scans that Webb was diagnosed with West Nile Virus.
It was the last thing he expected but he felt relieved.
“It’s scary when you wait,” he said. “But it was actually kind of a blessing because it could have been much worse than it was.”
The immunization period for West Nile Virus is approximately one week which means that Webb was most likely bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus during a trip to Dallas to see the Wildcat football team play on Sep. 16.
West Nile Virus is deadly in a very small number of cases and most patients who contract it don’t see any symptoms. Webb’s case was considered mild by doctors and his symptoms were mostly headaches and fatigue.
“Staying hydrated and getting sleep is the best I can do right now,” he said.
While most patients can expect a recovery period of 2-3 months, Webb, who has kept up with classes and continued to play intramural sports, said he feels like he is almost back to normal.
“I feel extremely better and its visible to other people how much better I feel,” he said. “I’m blessed that its not going to be as bad as I thought it would be. I’m lucky I had the sense to pull over because it happened just like that.”