Man Claims Doctor Failed to Diagnose His West Nile Virus

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North Carolina residents should know that in rare cases, the West Nile virus can cause the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment to address or prevent West Nile, but those with a mild form of the virus can take over-the-counter medications or fever reducers.

Typical symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, body aches, sleepiness and tremors. Four years ago, a Nebraska man was bitten on the leg by a mosquito while mowing his lawn and went to the doctor once he began to experience some of these symptoms. A neighbor had been diagnosed with West Nile, so he suspected that he had contracted it too. However, the doctor dismissed the symptoms and never tested the man's blood for the virus.

Ten days later, a 102-degree fever landed the man in the hospital. After being transferred to another hospital, he was correctly diagnosed to have West Nile virus. As a result of the delay, he is now paralyzed and suffers from damaged hearing. To pay for his medical costs, he has been forced to use up his 401(k) and now owns nothing outside of his house. He is raising money through a GoFundMe page.

It is very possible that in this case, a delayed diagnosis contributed to the injuries. Whether the doctor who dismissed the symptoms was negligent or not is another matter, which is why filing a medical malpractice claim usually benefits from legal assistance. A lawyer may request an inquiry with the local medical board and hire third parties to conduct their own investigations. Ultimately, the lawyer could negotiate for a settlement out of court.

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