Jim VanCleve, Mountain Heart fiddler and one of the busiest session players and producers in Nashville, is hospitalized today for a blood transfusion after contracting Dengue Fever during a visit St. Croix last week.
The disease is spread by mosquito bites, and fortunately for Jim, he happened to overhear a conversation at the hotel in the Virgin Islands indicating that others there were suffering from the disease. When he began experiencing the same symptoms upon his return to the US, he was able to inform his doctors of the Dengue outbreak where he had been staying. A quick diagnosis is always important, especially for illnesses uncommon in the US.
He went through the usual week of headaches, rash, fever, nausea and fatigue, but failed to bounce back as would have been expected after that period of time. It is suspected that his immune system may have been compromised in some way, possibly by the intense schedule he works.
Mountain Heart manager Brian Smith shared this statement just a few minutes ago.
“He will be admitted to the hospital in Nashville for a blood transfusion today because his white blood count had dropped to a very dangerous low. The family is with him and the family and the entire Mountain Heart team are confident he will bounce back strong soon, but we are asking for everyone’s prayers as he gets past this rough time.”
Jim’s bandmate Josh Shilling tells us that this was their fourth visit to the islands as a winter break, and the first time anyone had gotten sick.
Let’s all hope to hear some good news soon about this hard-working artist!