Local News

Texas Boy Dies from West Nile Virus

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Cody Hopkins, a 13-year-old boy from Bastrop County, contracted West Nile virus. This week, reports say that he passed away from the illness. The Statesman wrote that the Texas Department of State Health Services is currently investigating the matter, but posts on the Facebook page “FLY HIGH CODY” detail his hardships.

“Doctors are pretty certain that it was the West Nile that triggered the autoimmune process which caused him to lose his motor skills and ability to speak. Cody is in the less than 1% in the world that develops neurologic issues from the virus. This is an extremely rare case, therefore prognosis … is very unclear,” his mother stated on the website.

KXAN reports that Cody’s parents are making sure their son’s death makes a difference in the world. They hope to raise awareness on how others can prevent getting the virus. The CDC recommends wearing “repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.” Other lesser known tips are to install screens on your house to ensure mosquitoes won’t enter, and report dead bird sightings to authorities. Increased bird death is sometimes an indicator of the virus spreading.