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Former resident dies of West Nile

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

A former Rugby resident died in late August of complications of West Nile virus.

Arnold Thomas Esterby, 76, died Sunday, Aug. 28, at Sanford Health in Fargo. A doctor told his wife, Cheryl, that he tested positive for West Nile. Arnold went to the hospital four days prior after experiencing flu-like symptoms for a week.

A funeral service was held last week at Emmanuel United Church in Rugby. Burial will be held at a later date in Bottineau.

Esterby was born July 9, 1940, in Enderlin, and attended school in Minot and at Coyne Electronic College in Chicago, Ill. He and his wife married in Willow City and 1961 and they moved to Breckenridge, Minn. They later moved to Rugby, where they owned and operated A & C TV for 24 years.

While in Rugby, Esterby was involved in the planning and building of Emmanuel United Church.

The couple moved to Fargo in 1997 to be closer to grandchildren.

The N.D. Department of Health estimated there have been 26 nonfatal cases of West Nile in the state so far. Last year there were 23 recorded cases and one death.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos. In a very small number of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the virus can spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.

The incubation period (time it takes for people to get sick) for West Nile is anywhere from 2 to 14 days. About 70 to 80 percent of those infected do not experience any symptoms. Twenty percent develop a fever with other symptoms, including headache, body and joint aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash-most with this type recover completely, Less than 1 percent develop serious neurological illnesses, including encephalitis or meningitis-about 10 percent of people who develop neurological infections from West Nile die.

Illness can occur in persons of any age, but people over 60 years of age; certain medical conditions (cancer, diabetes, recipients of organ transplants); or work or do activities outdoors are at risk. There is no vaccine and there is no cure.

– Tribune Staff Report

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