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Colorado woman has poliomyelitis after contracting West Nile virus, loses ability to walk

Colorado woman loses ability to walk after contracting West Nile virus
Colorado woman loses ability to walk after contracting West Nile virus 03:10

There has been a rise in West Nile virus cases in Colorado this year. According to the CDC, there have been more than 100 reported cases of West Nile in the state. Many experience flu-like symptoms, being hospitalized, or even death.

One Colorado woman took a trip up to the high country last summer for a getaway with her husband. She came back with a case of West Nile virus.

Nancy Crow and her husband Mark shared their story at their new Assisted Living home, a place that just over a year ago neither expected to be in.

"It was September of 2022, when one day after we came home from a weekend trip from Aspen I was feeling flu like symptoms. It was the following morning I couldn't walk," explained Nancy.

A trip up to the mountains quickly turned cold.  


"Nancy was dying. I mean, every time I saw her, she was worse and worse," explained her husband Mark.

They were frightening moments for both Nancy and Mark, as paramedics and doctors rushed to Nancy's side to figure out what had gone wrong. Nancy spent nearly three weeks in the hospital, weak and unable to speak, to finally receive her alarming diagnosis.

"They did a lot of different tests and they finally got confirmation from the CDC that based on my blood that what I had was West Nile. I don't even remember the mosquito," said Nancy. 


Nancy now lives with poliomyelitis -- an infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause temporary or permanent paralysis -- and while she and her husband once loved exercising and traveling the world together, it's their new reality that has left them closer than ever.

"Nancy is such a powerful person. Being dependent has got to be very hard on her," said Mark.

"A year later, there have been times where I still feel discouraged because I cannot move my feet, but I haven't given up hope. With my wonderful husband to help me we will live a good and full life together," Nancy said.

Both Nancy and her husband Mark say West Nile virus is not to be taken lightly. They encourage people to get rid of sources of stagnant or standing water to remove a potential breeding ground of mosquitoes. They also suggest using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.

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