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Las Vegas woman suffering from West Nile symptoms years after bite

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-05 22:10:51-04

A Las Vegas woman suffering from West Nile virus symptoms years after the bite is speaking out to warn others. 

Pamela Truax thinks of her life "pre-West Nile" and "post-West Nile." 

"Before I could work 80 hours a week now I can't," Truax said. 

She was infected with neuroinvasive West Nile virus more than 10 years ago. The virus first attacked her ability to walk and caused migraines and speech loss. 

To this day, Truax has trouble remembering words and speaking naturally. She said it's affected her ability to live a normal life. 

"It's not that I don't know the word or I can't recall the word, there is just no connection between the brain and talking," Truax said. 

Just a few weeks ago, a man was diagnosed with the same form of West Nile that Truax contracted. It's the first diagnosis in Southern Nevada this year. 

"We've been searching around this patient's house to see if we can find any mosquitoes that are positive," said Dr. Joseph Iser of the Southern Nevada Health District. 

Iser said it's rare for West Nile virus patients like Truax to suffer from symptoms years after their diagnosis. 

Still, Truax doesn't want anyone to take the risk. 

"Take precautions not to get bit because it affects too many people," she said. 

For more information about West Nile virus, including prevention tips, click here.