Cincinnati woman recovering from West Nile virus - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati woman recovering from West Nile virus

Kelly Taphorn (FOX19 NOW) Kelly Taphorn (FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A Cincinnati woman is recovering after contracting the West Nile virus.

Kelly Taphorn is one of the rare people in the state that developed symptoms, which less that one percent of people experience after getting bit by a mosquito carrying the virus. 

There's only been one other case reported in state of Ohio this year, but Taphorn is the only one she knows of, who got everything the virus can throw at you.

"I was throwing up and couldn't stop,” she said. "I'm just weak. I have to try to stretch and stuff, it makes me shake. I could not walk. And my speech still is not the way it should be. I want to move my leg and I can barely move it."

Her sister, Lauren Taphorn, is a nurse at UK Hospital in Lexington and works with neuro patients, and just can’t believe the condition her sister is in right now.

"It looked like she had had a stroke, it was really scary," she said.

Lauren also praised the doctors and nurses who are helping her get her health back.

"She's really received great care here at Mercy and at UC," she said. 

Taphorn got bitten sometime around Aug. 12, but never saw a mosquito on her skin.

“I thought maybe she had the flu. The next day, then she goes, 'oh I'm so much worse,' and it was really bad," her mother Cheryl Taphorn said. 

Taphorn said she went through a lot of testing to figure out she had West Nile virus. 

"I had two lumbar punctures in the last week and lots of blood drawn," she said.

She developed meningitis and encephalitis, but doctors couldn't figure out why, until a second battery of testing confirmed, she had the virus.

"There's no cure for it. No real treatment for it. You just have to endure it. You just kind of have to manage your symptoms and then it will go away," Taphorn said.

She will remain at Mercy in rehab for at least two weeks. She begins an aggressive physical and occupational therapy routine first thing Thursday morning.

The family is asking for prayers and has set up a YouCaring account to help with her medical expenses.

Taphorn  just started her new job back in March, but does not even qualify yet, for short term disability or extended medical leave.

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