Sep 18, 2012 1:29 AM by Jim Hummel
A Lafayette man says he's lucky to be alive after contracting West Nile Virus.
"It was a rough two-and-a-half weeks, but I feel real lucky," said Russell Richard (pictured), who was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness last week, just as his symptoms subsided. "High fever, aches and pains, nausea, weight loss, but the high fever was the worst part of it."
While Richard was never hospitalized, he says it took four visits to the doctor before a blood culture tested positive for WNV.
Once confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control, Richard's case will be the second human case of WNV in Lafayette this year. So far in 2012 the disease is blamed on the deaths of 10 people in Louisiana; 215 others have been infected.
Also Monday, medical entomologist Glenn Stokes confirmed to KATC that a dead bird found in Lafayette tested positive for WNV. The bird was found near a home on Belle Homme Drive and authorities are increasing mosquito spraying in that area as a result.