Jeff Kolpack, Published August 21 2012
Concordia cross country coach on leave with West Nile virusFARGO – Concordia College men’s cross country coach Garrick Larson is on medical leave while recovering from West Nile virus. It’s been a battle of fatigue that Larson appears to slowly be winning.
The veteran coach, who has been at Concordia since 1997, was hospitalized for a week at the end of July after checking himself into the emergency room with a high fever and bad headache.
“I couldn’t tell you how bad it felt,” he said. “I’ve felt nothing close to that in my life and I knew I was in trouble.”
He was diagnosed with West Nile a few days later, a virus that is carried by a certain species of mosquito. Larson contracted a severe version of it, which oftentimes goes undetected or mistaken as the flu for most people.
“Less than 1 percent end up with the severe case,” Larson said.
Fatigue is the worst symptom. His hope is to work minimal hours in the office next week, but it will be perhaps a month or longer before he’ll be able to resume full active coaching duties.
Assistant coach Nathan Lodermeier, meanwhile, was named the interim head coach.
It’s the second straight summer Larson has been hit with an outdoor ailment. He contracted Lyme disease last year, a bacterial infection spread by a deer tick that took only a few days to address.
The West Nile infliction happened before July 11, a date when Larson – an avid runner – said he felt unusually tired after stopping.
Later, tests for a repeat bout with Lyme disease were negative.
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia
Kolpack is the host of the WDAY Golf Show Saturdays from 8-9 a.m. on 970-AM.