It was low tide on the north shore of Boston when Steve Kearns felt the mosquito bite that would land him in a hospital with West Nile Virus disease for a week.
“For at least six months after that, I felt like every five minutes I was being run over by a truck,” Kearns says. “I couldn’t work, I couldn’t walk very well and I couldn’t focus. I wondered for a bit if I’d ever get better.”
Kearns, 71, recounted the experience during a check-up with his physician, Dr. Gaurab Basu, and Dr. Charlotte Rastas, a third year resident in primary care at a Cambridge Health Alliance clinic in Somerville, Mass.
Basu had never seen West Nile in a patient before Kearns. The first reported case in Massachusetts was in 2002. By 2018, the year a mosquito bit Kearns, there were 49.
“When someone comes in with a fever and