West Nile Virus: Fighting the Largest Outbreak in U.S. History

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About 80 percent of those infected by a mosquito carrying West Nile will never know it -- they won't even get sick. About 1 in 150 will come down with the most severe form of West Nile, as the virus attacks the nervous system. Often the hardest hit victims are left with neurological damage that lasts a lifetime.

West Nile Virus: Recognizing the Symptoms

Joey Worley, 51, of Fairfield, Texas, narrowly escaped becoming another victim of the disease. Worley, a high school coach and marathon runner, said he began to feel flu-like symptoms after a family vacation to New Mexico. A few days later, his wife Renea called for an ambulance to take him to the emergency room.

After five days in the hospital, Joey Worley was cleared to go home. His doctor said it appears he will not suffer permanent neurological damage from the disease.

Brandt Leondar is also recovering at home -- something his doctor said he never expected because of how severe his case was. Spak said it only adds to the mystery surrounding this disease.

"It is miraculous how [Brandt is] turning around," he said.

With so few answers from medical experts, Petersen warns West Nile is here to stay.

"There's no way to get rid of it at this point," he said. "People need to realize they're at risk, and I'm a good example of that."

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