Fifty-three-year-old Robert Johnson of Shadow Hills passed away Saturday following a month-long fight with the viral infection, according to his husband Scott Montgomery. Montgomery told CBS2 by phone Monday that Johnson started suffering flu-like symptoms over Labor Day weekend. About four days later, his fever spiked and he was hospitalized.
“I thought he had a stroke, that’s why I took him to the hospital,” Montgomery said. “Within a week of that he was on life support in a hospital.”
Montgomery said doctors told him Johnson had contracted West Nile Virus. He suffered brain swelling, went into a coma, and then his heart stopped, Montgomery said.
“Scott was a very healthy person, 53-years-old, we hike on weekends, he swam in the swimming pool every weekend, he doesn’t smoke,” Montgomery said.
It’s unclear when exactly Johnson contracted the virus. He had no underlying health conditions, Montgomery told CBS2.
Symptoms of the WNV — which is transmitted by mosquito bites — can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headaches, but many people who are infected may not show any symptoms. In rare cases, such as Johnson’s, patients can develop more serious problems, such as brain inflammation or paralysis.
“I don’t know what to say, he loved and took care of everybody,” Montgomery said.