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Local man infected with West Nile virus

August 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Neighbors of Francis and Alfonso Arredondo seem to think that mosquitoes in the area have been gathering at a local storm drain called the Puddingstone Channel in the La Verne area.Francis Arredondo cannot believe that her 83-year-old husband, Alfonso, has been infected with the West Nile virus.

He is a WWII veteran who was captured, tortured and was a prisoner of war for a year-and-a-half.

Now infected with the West Nile virus, the realization is Alfonso may only have months to live.

"There is nothing you can do for it. That just hurts so bad," said Francis Arredondo.

Doctors think he was bitten almost ten day before he was taken to the hospital back on June 26.

Until that day he showed no symptoms. Francis first noticed something was wrong while they were eating at a restaurant.

"My husband was just like you and I are right now, talking. He was able to order what he wanted and we all ate. During the time of our meal he became very quiet," said Arredondo.

Within moments they were rushing to a hospital and that was the last time they have been able to have a coherent conversation with him.

"I was shocked. I couldn't believe this. I was shocked," said Francis Arredondo.

Experts say Southern California should take note because after a few years of watching West Nile cases decline they say the virus is once again on the rise.

"When something happens like high night time temperatures, increased mosquito prevalence, infected birds, it causes a resurgence and that's what has happened here in 2008. It is a late start, but it is accelerating why you and I are talking today," said Steve West with the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control.

Francis says she is frustrated that they didn't know more about the dangers. She is hoping through her tragedy though that others might realize the danger the West Nile virus poses.

"We have a school right down the street and they come out to play after school. Right now they are on vacation. You see kids running around there and older people taking walks and they don't know the danger," said Arredondo.

Experts recommend that if you plan on being outdoors, especially near water, to use mosquito repellant. Officials say that the highest level of mosquito activity and West Nile virus is in the months of August, September and October.

 

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