Durden, 66, became ill at the end of September. "I started off with nausea, headaches, muscle aches and joint pains," An appointment with his doctor and a subsequent trip to the hospital emergency room yielded no answers regarding what made him sick.
Things got no better for Durden. He continued to suffer loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, and nausea. Finally, he became so sick his wife called an ambulance to take him to the hospital where he was admitted.
Tests again failed to reveal the origin of his sickness. That is, Durden says, until his daughter asked that her dad be tested for West Nile. The former law officer said that's when he found out what is wrong.
While Durden claims he has doctor's results proving he suffers from West Nile Virus others disagree, at least for now. Houston County Health official Corey Kirkland said, to this point, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the county. Kirkland said the only West Nile virus case treated in Houston County involves a man who lives and likely contracted the disease in Crenshaw County.
Kirkland points out Durden's tests were administered at a hospital and have not been confirmed by the state health department.
However, Durden says he's got test results showing he suffers from West Nile. And he's also got proof in the 14 pounds he's dropped and even suffers from memory loss. He also has trouble walking. Durden said he has no idea how he contracted the virus though the illness is generally borne in the mosquito population.Durden said he's fighting to stay alive. "Either your body is in good enough shape to get (West Nile) out or you die. That's what it boils down to, I'm taking it one day at a time."