A Murfreesboro man's death is being blamed on the West Nile virus, and it's a man who's been described by family members as being healthy and active.
Family members say 82-year-old Marion Rogers was an avid outdoorsman who loved gardening, but just a few weeks after his first symptoms, Rogers became the second person to die from the virus in Tennessee this year.
Marion Rogers had been in his garden Sept. 19 when he started feeling bad.
"I came over, and as active as he is, he had a very hard time even coming out of his chair," said his son, Guy Rogers.
His only other symptom was a low-grade fever. Nevertheless, he actually told his son he needed to be checked into the hospital.
"In fact, at the end of the evening, after being checked out of the ER, he was given a choice - you've got a low-grade fever, we can admit you or you're probably OK to go home. And he was very healthy and very active - not the kind of guy who would want to go to the hospital, and he said, 'You know, I think I should stay,'" said his son, Guy Rogers.
Within days, Marion Rogers developed a high fever, chills and tremors. It was encephalitis brought on by West Nile virus.
"It injects you with a virus and, for reasons we don't completely understand at the basic, molecular level, this virus likes to seek out our brains. And once it gets inside, it causes inflammation and the rest of our organ systems become dysfunctional," said Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt University infectious disease expert.
Marion Rogers died Sunday morning, leaving behind a loving family and a beautiful home he took such pride in.
Schaffner says the most important thing you can do to lower your risk is to walk around your property and make sure there is no standing water. That's where mosquitoes breed, and they don't need very much water to do it.
Also, remember that mosquitoes are really active around dusk, so try to stay inside around that time.
If you have to go outside, wear repellent and long sleeves and pants.
Mosquitoes are typically killed by the first hard freeze of the season, but Davidson County recorded a human case of West Nile virus as late as December in 2012.
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Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:39:10 GMT
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