By Jessi Butterfield 

Spring is here and summer is quickly approaching, which means those pesky mosquitos are here. The first case of West Nile Virus recorded in Idaho was in 2004. In 2006 there were 996 cases that had been reported to the state health department. 

James Ankele, husband to Jennifer Ankele was bit by a mosquito in August 2018 by Keithly Creek after the big fire that closed down the highway. James is 36 years old and was taken to Weiser Memorial Hospital, thinking that he had food poisoning, as he couldn’t keep anything down. He spiked a fever and was sent to Boise St. Luke’s Hospital. After being there for 4 days in a general hospital room, James started having odd behaviors such as hitting, kicking, spitting and yelling. They still did not have a diagnosis for James at this time. Shortly after going into a coma, he went into a coma for a week, and was taken to ICU where he stayed for 3 weeks. That is where he was diagnosed with West Nile Encephalitis.

After the ICU and diagnosis James spent a short time at Vibra Hospital, from there he went to a nursing home at Cascadia of Boise and is currently there now. James is what they consider a paralyzed quadriplegic and has to learn how to walk, talk and move all over again. James isn’t out of the woods yet as he has a long road to recover, fortunately he is better than when he was diagnosed. 

James wife, Jennifer, works 3 days a week and the other 4 days she resides at a KOA camp in Meridian so that she can visit her husband. James and Jennifer have been married for 6 years and she has been by his side through this hard time.


“I just want people to understand how dangerous mosquitos can be and I don’t want them to end up in the same situation.” Jennifer expresses.

Be safe this summer and use caution when being out where you can be bitten by mosquitos.