North Carolina boy almost dies 'all because of a mosquito'

A young boy from Burnsville - a town in Yancey County, North Carolina - is fighting for his life in Charlotte all because of a mosquito.

Two months and two viruses later JJ Wise is still recovering at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.

WLOS reports JJ was first diagnosed with encephalitis and meningitis and then doctors determined he contracted both La Crosse virus and enterovirus.

On June 19, JJ turned 11-years-old. Three days later he got a headache that he didn't know he wouldn't be able to shake.

By June 26, he was talking gibberish and Kimberly Wise took her son to the ER.

"They told me he had meningitis and again they said viral. There was nothing they could do, not antibiotics or nothing like that. So we just came home and gave him fluids and fought the headache," Wise said.

You could call it a mother's intuition that kept Wise searching for answers from doctors.

"He had also had what I call an episode. He just went maniac," JJ's mother said. "He was just screaming and crying and that's not like him. He's really a quiet kid."

It was first Spruce Pine Community Hospital and then Mission for spinal taps, MRI scans, and CT scans where JJ learned his diagnosis.

"To the best that they can figure out is that the mosquito bit him and gave him La Crosse virus," Wise said.

He suffered a stroke and then was put in an induced coma to stop brain swelling.

"I didn't know what to do. I thought we were losing him. I thought he was done," JJ's mother said. "It was the hardest thing that I've ever been through."

JJ was then taken to Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, where he's been since Friday on his road to recovery.

"I would see the bag of IVs, the pressure monitor in his head, I mean everything and I'm like, 'A mosquito, that's all this was. it was all because of a mosquito,'" Wise said.

Wise has started getting the word out not about Zika but La Crosse virus because it's actually in the Appalachian mountains.

"Out of the 80 to 100 cases, according to one of the doctors that JJ saw, 15 to 20 of them come to Mission Hospital. And nobody knows about this. I mean I was blown away by that statistic," Wise said.

Support on JJ's Facebook page and GoFundMe account is what they're holding onto while he relearns how to walk, talk, and just be a kid again.

"He's just not the JJ that we used to have, but we're hoping to get him back," JJ's mother said. "We're going to do everything we can to get him back to that little boy."

JJ hopes to be out of the hospital in about two weeks. Then he'll have years of outpatient therapy.

Marking on your calendar when your kid gets a mosquito bite and always using a repellent, like DEET, are two tips JJ's mother shared.

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