Encephalitis victim improves - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Encephalitis victim improves

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July 25, 2003

Valdosta - Eastern Equine Encephalitis, sleeping sickness, has only a 50 percent survival rate for humans. Ten-year-old Jennifer Tucker of Valdosta is still in intensive care since being bitten a disease-carrying mosquito two weeks ago.

When she complained of a headache, fatigue, and muscle pain, her sister took her to South Georgia Medical Center. The doctors there thought she might have meningitis, so she was airlifted to Augusta, where she tested positive for encephalitis.

She's been in a coma for the past week, but her sister Mary says she's a little better. "They say its going to take a lot of physical therapy, but hopefully in time she'll recover without any side effects and be back to her healthy, active self," said Tucker.

The doctors had to remove part of Jennifer's skull so that the brain swelling wouldn't kill her.

Public health officials believe she was bitten by the infected mosquito while playing outside her home.

posted at 3:35 by ashley.harper@walb.com