Art Hains, known as the voice of Missouri State University athletics, has been hospitalized in critical condition. The longtime broadcaster was hospitalized last week for what doctors believe to be complications from the West Nile Virus, a mosquito-transmitted virus that can cause a life-threatening illness.
Hains' family confirmed his hospitalization to the Springfield News-Leader, revealing that the broadcaster sought treatment and was subsequently admitted to the hospital after he began to experience pain in his leg. Hains later lost mobility and struggled to breathe. He was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator in critical condition. Although doctors initially believed Hains was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder where the body's immune system attacks the nerves, per Mayo Clinic, doctors now believe Hains is suffering from complications from the West Nile Virus.
"He is in critical condition and we are wanting to get him into a specialized research hospital that sees this type of issue more frequently and may have different treatment options," Haines' son, Chris, told News-Leader sports reporter Wyatt Wheeler. "This would additionally allow for a second opinion and additional testing. KU Med is the preferred location and Cox is ready to transport. We still need prayers and appreciate all the prayers offered during this trying week!"
According to the Mayo Clinic, while most people infected with West Nile virus either don't develop signs or symptoms or have only minor ones, some people may develop a life-threatening illness. Mild infection signs and symptoms include fever, body aches, and skin rash and typically go away on their own. Severe signs and symptoms, such as severe headache, fever, disorientation or sudden weakness, require immediate medical attention. Less than 1% of people who contact West Nile virus experience severe symptoms.
Hains' doctors believe that he contracted West Nile virus, which has caused Acute Flaccid Paralysis, a rare but serious condition that affects the spinal cord, per the family. In a Sunday night update, Wheeler shared that Hains was to be "airlifted to KU Medical Center in Kansas City." No further updates have been provided at this time.
Hains is known and loved as "The Voice of the Bears," having served as a broadcaster for the Missouri State Bears for the past 45 years. He is also the host of the drive-time radio show "SportsTalk" on Jock 96.9 and is part of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network team.