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Published August 21, 2012, 05:20 PM

Moorhead man sidelined by West Nile Virus

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- This is the time of year Concordia's Cross Country coach would typically be preparing his team for upcoming meets, but a life-threatening brush with West Nile has temporarily sidelined Garrick Larson.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- This is the time of year Concordia's Cross Country coach would typically be preparing his team for upcoming meets, but a life-threatening brush with West Nile has temporarily sidelined Garrick Larson.

He is one of 20 confirmed cases of the disease in Minnesota right now. A west central Minnesota woman died of West Nile earlier this month.

Garrick Larson is the last person you would picture fatigued and worn out from simply trimming grass with a weed eater, but the marathon runner and busy father of two has met his match however with West Nile.

Garrick Larson - Concordia Cross Country Coach: "I fatigue really quickly."

It wasn't long after our interview today that Garrick Larson headed for the couch. He ran some errands with his children earlier and he was spent. It has been a horrific past month for Garrick.

Garrick Larson: "My age, my health, my activity level, you would never think it was possible, but if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone."

First coming down with flu-like symptoms

Garrick Larson: "Headache, swollen glands."

After a few doctor visits, Garrick was told it was just a virus. That was mid-July. Garrick knew at one point something was seriously wrong. It was not a summer cold or flu.

Garrick Larson: "I woke up with a headache like I have never come close to feeling before. The pain was immense. I knew I was in trouble."

Hospitalized at Essentia for a week, Garrick battled high fevers, meningitis.

Garrick Larson: "I developed a severe fever; just shy of 105."

While he is home, Garrick has been forced to step away briefly from his coaching duties at Concordia. He tires so easily, and the head pain refuses to go away. It is a slow, frustrating recovery.

Garrick Larson: "I really miss being active. I'm an active guy. I'm up and about, working with kids all day long. It's really hard for me to be still."

Garrick has been through a similar battle. Last year, he fought Lyme Disease. The tick and mosquito not a friendly foe at all, but through this, Garrick says there are some lessons learned.

Garrick Larson: "Really reflecting on life and where I spend my time; what is most important."

Garrick says there is a good chance he was bitten by a mosquito while at scout camp or a family reunion in Northern Minnesota Lake Country.

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