HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - More than a decade ago, Sharon Sims had the idea to help people affected by West Nile virus.
"I developed the West Nile Virus support group in February of 2003 was our first meeting," Sims explained.
At the time, it was the only group of its kind in Jackson, but a few years later she saw need to help people in the Pine Belt.
"There was a big outbreak in 2006 so we opened up at that group meeting in the Hattiesburg area," Sims added.
Sims knew there wasn't a lot of information out there for patients and families.
"We started getting a lot of calls from the hotline, wanting information, also talking to physicians about testing," Sims said.
Sims said they're the only West Nile Support group in the nation, and things are so well, the they can now help people across the country.
"The Mosquito Illness Alliance has received for us to take the support groups live. It's been a dream of mine for six or seven years. I know how important it is for people who do attend these meetings," Sims said.