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Doctor Details How West Nile Affected Family

By Phyllis K. Smith, 1080 KRLD | CBSDFW.COM
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DALLAS (CBSDFW) – Dr. George Theilen’s father Bernard Theilen died on July 29th from complications brought on by the West Nile virus. Although his father was 86 years old, it was still a shock to the family because he was an otherwise healthy man.

Dr. Theilen says it happened quickly. His father went from having symptoms that resembled a stomach flu to being in a coma only 3 days later. He says it took another 3 days in the hospital for doctors to figure out what the issue was. Bernard Theilen then remained in a coma for 2 more weeks until he finally passed away. He left behind his wife who he was married to for over 60 years, 5 sons and several grandchildren.

PLAY: Dr. George Theilen talks with 1080 KRLD.

Dr. Theilen of Dallas is a retired Ob/GYN and despite his medical knowledge he didn’t take West Nile seriously.

He says he figured this third-world illness didn’t happen to people here. Then in another twist of events, he decided to get himself tested for West Nile virus because he had flu-like symptoms, similar to what  is father experienced. That included 24 hours of continuous vomiting and fever as high as 103 degrees. It turns out Dr. Theilen also had contracted the West Nile virus.

After Theilen’s father got sick, he called the Dallas County Health department and asked them to conduct aerial spraying over his father’s neighborhood, which is near Northpark Center in Dallas. The department told him there were certain protocals that had to be followed. Since then the County has decided to bring in 5 planes for aerial spraying which is most likely going to begin this week.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings declared a state of emergency which gives the go-ahead for aerial spraying in Dallas. Other cities around north Texas approve the aerial spraying as well and others are still considering it.

Dr. Theilen says people should not panic but should take precautions. He doesn’t expect people to wear long sleeves in the summer heat but he urges everyone who goes outside to wear insect repellent with DEET and drain all standing water.

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