A 64-year-old Indiana man has been in a coma for three weeks after he was admitted to the hospital with a suspected heart attack. Danny Duncan, who eventually had a heart attack while in the hospital, was later found to have a confirmed case of West Nile virus, WTHR.com reported.
Duncan, who is being treated at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, is suffering from brain-swelling encephalitis and meningitis, and was placed on a ventilator. His family believes he was bitten by a mosquito while working in his garden, WTHR.com reported.
“He’s a real active man, always worked in his garden, spent time with his family,” Chris Duncan, one of his son’s, told WTHR.com. “Ever since August 10, he’s been in a coma. It’s just hard on the family. It’s crazy.”
Mosquitos in 53 of the state’s 92 counties have tested positive for West Nile virus, WTHR.com reported, with four other human cases already confirmed this year. There are no vaccines to prevent the virus nor are there medications to treat it, and about one in five people who are diagnosed will develop a fever and other symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About one out of 150 cases develops into a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.
The Indiana State Department of Health issued a warning for residents last week and urged people to take precautionary measures. Duncan’s 19-year-old granddaughter told WTHR she was shocked to hear it was detected near their home.
“I didn’t know it was, like, anywhere near Delaware County,” Devlin Duncan told the news outlet.
“They told us there isn’t a treatment for it,” he said. “He’s still in a coma. He may pull through and he may not.”