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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Crookston woman, Brekken, battling West Nile Virus

  • She went home Sunday after three-day hospital stay, says rebound is slow in coming.
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  •     A Crookston woman, Jana Brekken, has been diagnosed with the West Nile Virus and is doing her best to recover at home after being released from the hospital on Sunday after a three-day stay. Polk County Public Health officials confirmed that one case of the virus has been reported in Polk County.
        "I'm supposed to be getting to the rebound part, but it's slow going," Brekken told the Times by phone Monday.
        Brekken said she didn't feel well for about a week before going to the doctor to get checked out. She was tested for the virus then, she said, but the results came back negative.
        "Then it really hit me, I had dizziness, nausea and an extreme, excruciating headache," Brekken said. "That hasn't really gone away."
        Once she tested positive for West Nile, which is a virus, she was prescribed pain medication and medication to ease her nausea, but since it's a virus antibiotics won't help in Brekken's recovery.
        She said she's been told it will take her a week or two to recover. West Nile is most commonly spread to humans through mosquitoes, but Brekken has no idea when or where she may have been bit.
    Numbers
        Across Minnesota there are currently 11 confirmed cases while the United States as a whole currently has 99 confirmed cases. There are no vaccines to prevent the virus and most people will not experience any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness," says the CDC.
        A couple ways to reduce your risk of being infected include wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent.  
    Times Staff Writer Jess Bengtson contributed to this story.
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