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North Texas man dies from West Nile virus, wife says – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

North Texas man dies from West Nile virus, wife says – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

North Texas man dies from West Nile virus, wife says – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Following record rainfall this spring, North Texas is under increasing threat from the West Nile virus.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and a Parker County widow is urging caution when outdoors after saying her husband died after contracting West Nile virus.

Dranda Hopps says her nightmare began on June 9, while she was doing some gardening outside her Springtown home over the weekend.

“I don’t think reality has set in yet,” Hopps said, crying.

After torrential rains last month, she says she and Gary Hopps, her husband of 30 years, decided to cut a ditch across their property.

“We thought we had to go out and clear the weeds before the mosquitoes started coming in,” Dranda Hopps recalled.

She says her husband took precautions by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants, boots, gloves and a hat.

Three days later, he says, he developed flu-like symptoms, including weakness and vomiting.

She says her primary care doctor told them over the phone to go to the emergency room where Gary Hopps was hospitalized.

“A few days later, while I was in the hospital, I noticed I had a mosquito bite between my index finger and thumb,” Dranda Hopps said, pointing to her hand.

She says her husband’s condition has worsened.

With no clear answers about what was wrong, she says doctors performed a lumbar or spinal tap the week after she was admitted.

“Then when they came back and told me on the 26th that it was West Nile virus, I said, ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t tell me that because you’ll come back tomorrow and tell me it wasn’t that,’” Hopps recalled.

“She says, ‘No, we got the test results back last night and it confirmed West Nile virus.’”

Dranda Hopps says she was told there wasn’t much that could be done and had to decide whether to put her husband on life support, something she says he always opposed.

“It took me a long time to keep that promise, but I did it,” Hopps said through tears.

Gary Hopps, 67, died at his home on Saturday.

“I’m still waiting for him to walk through that door from work or come to bed saying, ‘Goodnight, bunny,'” Hopps said.

The State of Texas requires medical providers to report human cases of West Nile virus to the Department of State Health Services.

A DSHS spokesperson told NBC 5 that investigating such reports can take time and that as of Wednesday evening, there have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Parker County.

The City of Springtown issued a statement Wednesday saying:

“The City of Springtown is aware of reports of human cases of West Nile virus within the Springtown city limits. As of this afternoon, July 3, the City has not received any official notification or confirmation of any human cases of West Nile virus in our jurisdiction.

The City will remain in contact with state health officials. Should the City be notified of a confirmed case, we will make appropriate public notifications to the community.”

Dranda Hopps says she requested her husband’s medical records from the hospital.

She suspects she was bitten by a mosquito when she took off her gloves during a break from yard work.

“He was great. Everyone who knew him loved him,” she said.

She urges the public to be aware of the virus and take all possible precautions to avoid the pain she is experiencing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are no vaccines or medications to prevent West Nile virus.

He says the best ways to avoid it are to use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, treat clothing and gear, and take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.