Rifle man county’s second confirmed West Nile victim
You won’t see it reported on the state of Colorado’s West Nile virus Web site, but Rifle resident Scott Aibner has tested positive for West Nile. Aibner, 42, received confirmation he has West Nile from Darcy Selenke, M.D., his Rifle physician, on Wednesday, confirming what he anticipated all along.”Dr. Selenke said that it was very probable that I didn’t have West Nile since it’s so rare, but that I might have something with similar symptoms, like mono,” Aibner said.Besides West Nile virus, Dr. Selenke ordered a full screen of tests for Aibner. All the tests came back negative except for one.”I think they were quite surprised that this test came back positive,” said Aibner. Reporting requiredMedical staff in Colorado are required to report positive West Nile cases to the state, but Aibner’s case has not been officially registered yet. According to John Pape, an epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Health, it takes some time to process results.west nile: see page A3west nile: from page A1″The person goes to the doctor, the doctor orders a blood test, and it comes back positive,” said Pape. “After that, we hear about it and we contact the patient to determine if the case meets the criteria.”The amount of time it takes to show up on the state counts varies, “but it could be as early as tomorrow,” Pape said. “People we hear about who have the virus today were likely bitten by an infected mosquito at least two to three weeks ago.” Aibner is only the second known case in Garfield County this year, but that doesn’t mean he’s only one of two people who have West Nile here, Pape said.”Without a doubt, many more people have West Nile than get reported,” said Pape. “Last year, we reported 3,000 cases across the state, but I would estimate there were several times that number that had the virus.” Pape said the cases that get reported are often from people who have been hospitalized with encephalitis or meningitis – or “who feel crummy and can’t figure out why. A lot of people feel bad, but they don’t go to the doctor.” Scott’s got companyAibner can pinpoint the day he was bitten by an infected mosquito – it was Aug. 13, he thinks – the same day his girlfriend Shelley Krebill was also bitten in Rifle.After a few days, the couple both came down with the exact same symptoms. The Post Independent featured an article on Krebill on Aug. 19 after she expressed concerns she might have West Nile. “From the get-go,” Aibner said, “Shelley and I both felt really sick.” He said they were both extremely tired the first day or two, and both had what felt like sinus infections followed by bad body aches, nausea, and severe headaches right behind the eyes. The couple also got skin rashes, first on their torsos, and then all over their bodies.Now that Aibner and Krebill know that Scott has the virus, Krebill doesn’t feel like she needs to take the blood test. “We were together when we got bitten, and we’ve had exactly the same signs and symptoms,” Krebill said. Aibner was at his office Thursday – he is Garfield County’s surveyor – and Krebill said she shifts between good and bad days.”I’m too busy to get sick,” said Krebill, a licensed massage therapist. “Sometimes I have really good days.” “Tiredness is a big thing for us,” Aibner said.”I guess what we really want people to know is that it’s here and to protect themselves.”Wear your stuff,” she said, referring to mosquito repellent. “Mosquitoes are still out there like crazy. We killed a couple big daddies just last night.” Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org what?Now that Rifle resident Scott Aibner has tested positive for West Nile, what can he expect? Currently, there’s no cure for the virus. • The length of time people experience symptoms varies, but since West Nile is a virus, symptoms could return in two, three or 10 years. • If people with the virus get a stiff neck or high fever, they need to consult with medical staff. The virus can lead to encephalitis and meningitis and in some people, death. “I feel very fortunate I haven’t had worse symptoms,” said Aibner. “In the meantime, we’re going with the flow. We’re kicking it pretty well.”
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