Two cases of La Crosse encephalitis in WNC

Comments on Topix forums : Raleigh The season's first two cases of the mosquito-borne illness La Cross encephalitis have been confirmed in two children in Western North Carolina. Full Story

Since: May 07

Asheville, NC

#1 Jul 15, 2008
I know first hand the devastation of La Crosse encephalitis can have on a child. Two years ago this past June, my youngest developed a headache with vomiting. She had just turned 8. She had gone to the doctor a month before in perfect health and had just barely tipped the scales at 50 lbs.

We took her to the doctor who told me that she had a stomach virus. Let it ride he told me. She was prescribed phenegren (spelling?) and I was told to give it to her every 6 hours until she was better. She would take the pill, go to sleep, and wake up in 3 hours vomiting. I did that twice.

In the middle of the night with her crying in pain and vomiting constantly, I took her to the ER. They took her in, looked her over BARELY, and said the exact same thing. I was, however chastised for giving her a cheese quesadilla. It was what she wanted and if she felt like eating it, I was delighted to give it to her. The doctor there gave me some other nausea/vomiting medication stronger than the first and said to give it every 6 hours.
I took her home and had the exact same experience. Give her to pill, she sleeps 3 hours and wakes vomiting and in pain.

The next morning, I called her pediatrician back and told the nurse I wanted to bring her back in. She spoke to the doctor who refused to see her. They told me to call back after lunch. When I called back, the nurse said that the doctor wouldnt see her at all. I told the nurse that someone would see her because she was getting dehydrated and she hadnt peed in about 18 hours. They reluctantly gave in.
I took her back to the doctor immediately. When we went back to the room, I had to carry her because she didnt have the strength to walk. I laid her down on the table and covered her up. When the 3rd doctor in 24 hours walked in the room, she went to my daughter and took one look at her. My daughter was grey, her eyes had sucken into her head and she couldnt even hold her head up. She looked at me and said "How fast can you get her to Mission?". I said that I would take her right then. They took her from the ER when I carried her in and put her in a wheelchair. They took her to a hospital room upstairs in the pediatric ward and started her on 2 bolus' at the same time. In case anyone doesnt know what a bolus is, its a fast drip IV. I think they put 2 bags in her within the first hour. She was immediately put on a morphine drip for the pain as well.

Since: May 07

Asheville, NC

#2 Jul 15, 2008
(continued)
After 2 days, they still didnt know what was wrong with her. They decided to give her a feeding tube because she was losing weight. Luckily, she was in a semi-coma so it wasnt something that she remembers. She also had a spinal tap. The spinal tap was what gave them their results. They removed...I think..11 cc's (I could be wrong about the amount..it was A LOT though) of spinal fluid.

All in all, she was unconscious for 7 days. She lost 15 lbs and walked out of the hospital weighing 35 lbs at 8 years old. It took her a year before she was physically back to normal. She still is behind a bit in math. She had been in the academically gifted program. She no longer qualifies.

If what she went through is even remotely what any other child goes through, I urge all parents to invest in insect repellent with DEET. It works and would have prevented this ordeal.

On a side note- she is the reason I have issues with the media. My ex-mother in law called WLOS and told them what was going on. They showed up at the hospital trying to get in to see her. I was livid. We were worried that my beautiful daughter would die and they wanted a story. I called them and threatened suit if she were named in the story. It wasnt that I was embarrassed or ashamed- there was no reason for that. I was pissed that they would use my pain and the pain of my family to have a salacious headline. They had no qualms about exploiting my child and that infuriated me.

Long story short, she is fine now pretty much. She runs and plays. She has friends. She does well in school (like I said though, math is a struggle). She is beautiful, smart, quick witted. I thank God every day that He gave me my baby back.:)
laaalaaa

United States

#3 Jul 15, 2008
I can attest to the damage that encephalitis causes. When I was 13, I contracted this disease. My fever was 105 and I had severe vomiting. I went to the doctor who gave me a bath with ice to lower my fever. Then he sent us to the ER, where the nurses gave me a spinal tap to check for meningitis. They stuck me in pediatric ICU and called the preacher. They told my mom and dad that they had no idea what was wrong, then the put me in isolation and no one could come in. I don't remember much of this, but what my mom tells me. I also don't have much memory from that year of my life. Someone told me once that a fever like that messes with the brain. I'm sure it does, how could it not. It was very scary, more so for my mom and dad.

Since: Feb 07

Asheville

#4 Jul 15, 2008
OMG Native! What a terrifying ordeal for you! I'm so glad y'all made it through that. I'm buying the repellent tomorrow....I never use the stuff cause I really hate chemicals on us but no way do I want my child to go through that. Thanks for the heads up.

Since: May 07

Asheville, NC

#5 Jul 15, 2008
laaalaaa wrote:
I can attest to the damage that encephalitis causes. When I was 13, I contracted this disease. My fever was 105 and I had severe vomiting. I went to the doctor who gave me a bath with ice to lower my fever. Then he sent us to the ER, where the nurses gave me a spinal tap to check for meningitis. They stuck me in pediatric ICU and called the preacher. They told my mom and dad that they had no idea what was wrong, then the put me in isolation and no one could come in. I don't remember much of this, but what my mom tells me. I also don't have much memory from that year of my life. Someone told me once that a fever like that messes with the brain. I'm sure it does, how could it not. It was very scary, more so for my mom and dad.
I'm glad you're ok now. I know your parents were terrified the way I was.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#6 Jul 15, 2008
WNCNATIVE wrote:
(continued)
After 2 days, they still didnt know what was wrong with her. They decided to give her a feeding tube because she was losing weight. Luckily, she was in a semi-coma so it wasnt something that she remembers. She also had a spinal tap. The spinal tap was what gave them their results. They removed...I think..11 cc's (I could be wrong about the amount..it was A LOT though) of spinal fluid.
All in all, she was unconscious for 7 days. She lost 15 lbs and walked out of the hospital weighing 35 lbs at 8 years old. It took her a year before she was physically back to normal. She still is behind a bit in math. She had been in the academically gifted program. She no longer qualifies.
If what she went through is even remotely what any other child goes through, I urge all parents to invest in insect repellent with DEET. It works and would have prevented this ordeal.
On a side note- she is the reason I have issues with the media. My ex-mother in law called WLOS and told them what was going on. They showed up at the hospital trying to get in to see her. I was livid. We were worried that my beautiful daughter would die and they wanted a story. I called them and threatened suit if she were named in the story. It wasnt that I was embarrassed or ashamed- there was no reason for that. I was pissed that they would use my pain and the pain of my family to have a salacious headline. They had no qualms about exploiting my child and that infuriated me.
Long story short, she is fine now pretty much. She runs and plays. She has friends. She does well in school (like I said though, math is a struggle). She is beautiful, smart, quick witted. I thank God every day that He gave me my baby back.:)
Thanks for sharing!

You're more special than I imagined, and it looks like your daughter is following your lead!

:>)

Since: May 07

Asheville, NC

#7 Jul 15, 2008
Stone Jack Baller wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for sharing!
You're more special than I imagined, and it looks like your daughter is following your lead!
:>)
:) She is my miracle baby. We learned that I had malignant cancer while I was pregnant with her. The doctors told me that had I not been pregnant, the tumor would have spread before they found it. She loves telling people how she saved Mommy's life.:) She really is precious and perfect in every way.
Ron Mexico

AOL

#8 Jul 15, 2008
Stone Jack Baller wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for sharing!
You're more special than I imagined, and it looks like your daughter is following your lead!
:>)
Ditto for WNCNATIVE ! You're special.

“Resist the Invasion!”

Since: Feb 07

Nebo, NC

#9 Jul 15, 2008
WNCN,

I'm so sorry that your daughter (and you) had to suffer such a nightmare.

I know a third little girl here in McDowell County who has made a nearly-complete recovery from a recent bout of encephalitis.

The child is a very gifted eight-year-old; naturally, her parents were terrified of brain damage. Thank God that there seems to be none.

Jeff Dreibus

“Be No Tarheelborn”

Since: Feb 07

Albermarle

#10 Jul 15, 2008
All I can say is wow.....

“Not as smart as I look.....”

Since: Oct 07

Leicester

#11 Jul 16, 2008
Transplanted wrote:
All I can say is wow.....
Ditto.....
Gabriela Mendez

Marion, NC

#12 Jul 12, 2011
My child started with a strong headache on Friday, I gave him paracetamol and seemed to work. By Saturday the headache was stronger, I gave him tylenol and even when he slept for some hours, the headache was persistant and stronger, no fever. As the symptoms were strange, we took him to the ER in Grace Hospital. He was being checked in the emergency room when the seizures started, it is a terrifying experience, my husband and I did not understand what was going on and were so worried. Fortunately he received immediate attention and was transferred to Mission in Asheville where they diagnosed La Crosse Virus after testing spine fluid and several blood tests. Seizures continued for two days, the last one lasted 20 min. The pain was very strong and it seemed my son could not take it any more. The brain was sending pain signal to all nerves in his body. In Mission they knew about the virus and knew exactly what to do, but it is very frustrating to see your kid under a lot of pain, at some point he was also very confused when he was conscious and he could not speak or remember the words to communicate. This nightmare lasted around 4 days before he started recovering. My concern is that there is not enough information for parents to spray kids when they are going on field trips, I'm sure he got the virus in the Blue Ridge Assembly in Asheville, around 15 days before the symptoms. There is need for more information and warnings when summer start, if there is a program for educating parents about this I will be glad to participate with this experience. My son spent 9 days in the hospital and I want to prevent parents about this terrible virus. I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I had to prepare my luggage just in case my baby was coming while my older child was in the hospital. Really a terrible experience

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