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Ottertail woman infected with West Nile virus

One Ottertail woman is now diagnosed with West Nile Virus and says she probably got it in her own backyard.

Although many people don't show any symptoms, Beth Lorentz has dealt with some of the worst the virus has to offer.

While Labor Day weekend is often seen as the end of summer, mosquito season is still far from over.

"I didn't even know that I had gotten bit, and I just started getting sick," said Lorentz.

West Nile Virus landed in the United States in the summer of 1999, and the CDC says the number of infections has been on a downward trend in recent years, but the virus isn't gone.

"I wouldn't assume that I would ever get it," said Lorentz.

There's less than a 1 percent of getting West Nile and 80 percent of those infected don't show any symptoms, but one Ottertail woman does have the virus and has had to adjust her entire life.

"Before West Nile, I would work at the school, I'm a para, I go to sporting events with my kids. I'm usually out and active, I'm busy," said Lorentz.

The virus has made what this mother of three used to do every day almost impossible.

"I've got to bounce, and try to go slow, sitting up and standing is terrible. Car Rides are bad. Walking is tough. The kids help me get from point A to B," said Lorentz.

Lorentz was diagnosed with the virus just last week, but doctors think she's been infected since July.

She's already experienced many of the severe symptoms, such as rashes, high fevers, and vision loss, but there's one she hasn't been able to get rid of.

"That dizziness that you feel when spin around 20 times and that feeling when you initially open your eyes and try to walk is how I feel," said Lorentz.

Beth says she couldn't have done it without the help and support from everyone around her.

"I've been very dependent to get me through, it'll get better with time, but everyone's been very helpful. My co-workers, my husband, my kids, and my in-laws," said Lorentz.

She plans to go back to work as soon as she's able to, which doctors say could take several more weeks.

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