Wahpeton Woman Shares Her Story on How She Beat West Nile

Sorry, this video is no longer available

The latest human case of West Nile confirmed in Grand Forks has made contracting the disease right here in the metro, a reality.
One Wahpeton woman is sharing her story to help educate people on the symptoms, and how she beat the virus.

KVRR’s Brittany Ford has the story.
August 17, 2012 is a day that 74-year-old Wahpeton resident Meredith Mitskog will never forget.

She is one of the lucky people who can call themselves a survivor, after beating the West Nile Virus.
“I don’t remember getting the bite, but I remember having three mosquito bites on my one ankle, and so then didn’t think anything about it,” says Meredith.
Just three days after unknowingly contracting the virus, she became extremely ill from what she described as flu like symptoms.

Shortly after, she lost all sense of consciousness.
“I didn’t know my own name, I must have been going…and I don’t remember the 10 days that I was in the hospital,” said Meredith Mitskog of Wahpeton.
As she began the recovery process, she was unable to walk or use her left arm.

She also wasn’t able to swallow foods on her own.
Meredith says she has traveled all across the world, but she contracted the disease right in her own backyard.
“My husband was fighting kidney disease so he wasn’t able to be out there. So I was out there helping my contractor,” she says.
After a year of constant speech and physical therapy, Meredith was able to say that she beat the virus.
“Most people that are exposed to West Nile get an antibody to it, and their unlikely to get it again,” said Dr. Patrick Emery of Sanford Health in Wahpeton.
And luckily, it is something that she will never have to experience again.

Brittany Ford KVRR News.
In 2015, there have been 10 confirmed positive human cases of West Nile in North Dakota.