A North Carolina mom is speaking out after a mosquito bite sent her 6-year-old son to the hospital for a week.
Six-year-old Noah was playing with his siblings when he complained of a headache, which quickly turned into seizures. His terrified family rushed him to hospital where he was diagnosed with La Crosse encephalitis, a virus spread by mosquitos and which causes life-threatening swelling in the brain. Along with seizures, it can cause coma and paralysis.
“I’ve got five kids, and this is absolutely the scariest thing I’ve every been through in my life,” LoriAnne Surrett, of North Carolina, said. “I literally thought my kid was gone when I saw him.”
Surrett said she had never heard of the disease, although she was told it was quite common. However, thankfully, it is in actuality still quite rare. According to the CDC, there are about 63 cases each year.
But the frightened mom, who is diligent about using bug spray to protect all five of her boys, says you can never be too careful. She shared Noah’s story on Facebook as a warning to parents to make sure to take precautions and watch for symptoms, including fever, headache and nausea.
“Use bug spray on your kids, check for bites, it’s not 100% preventable obviously but do what you can to try,” she wrote. “I’ve lived here my whole life. They say it’s known and common, but I’ve never heard of it and I want people to know that this can happen.”
Fortunately for Noah, after a week in ICU, he’s home and on the mend.