An Alberta man, 66-year-old Ron Sept died on October 4 due to a mere mosquito bite. Prior to the bite, Sept had survived two heart transplants and lived another 14 years.
“It’s so hard to accept that after 14 years staying alive after the heart transplants it was one little mosquito, that’s all, that brought him down,” said Jamie Fode, his daughter.
It is believed that Sept was bitten near his home. He was not involved in outdoor activities and had not travelled out of province, both of which would have put him at greater risk of obtaining the virus. Sept’s widow, Jacquie Goodine-Sept, says that Sept only went out briefly at night to let their dog out.
Goodine-Sept says she and Fode would like to see the province reinstate the spraying of bodies of water where mosquitoes breed.
“Having the spraying program for years and then stopping it is not acceptable,” said Fode. “How many people will have to die?”
10 people have been infected with the virus in Alberta this year. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there have been 220 probable and confirmed cases as of Sept 25 in Alberta. In 2011, there were 110 confirmed cases of the virus nationwide. That number has climbed to 386 this year.
The West Nile virus comes in two forms: non-neurological syndrome and neurological syndrome. Neurological syndrome can cause paralysis, confusion, fever, tremors, fatigue and unconsciousness. It can also become fatal. Sept experienced some of these symptoms, and slipped into a coma prior to having multiple seizures.
It was a difficult for Fode and Goodine-Sept to decide whether or not to keep Sept on life support until they found his written directive. Since Sept had received organ donations, it was hard to accept that he could not donate his organs due to the contamination of the West Nile Virus.
Source: The Spec