Three new West Nile virus cases reported in Louisiana - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Three new West Nile virus cases reported in Louisiana

Updated:

NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana's health department says three new cases of West Nile virus reported this week bring the state's total this year to 48.

Of the three new cases, one, in Lafayette, involves a serious brain and spinal cord infection. Two others involve less serious West Nile fever - one in Ouachita Parish and one in Morehouse Parish.

There have been two West Nile-related deaths so far this year.

People get West Nile when they're bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus. It can cause brain and spinal cord infections - referred to as neuroinvasive disease - that can cause brain damage and death. The milder viral infection, West Nile fever, causes flu-like symptoms.

In most cases, however, people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms.

Friday's report on this year's West Nile infections lists a total of 29 neuroinvasive cases. The Department of Health and Hospitals said Ouachita Parish has reported 13 cases of neuroinvasive disease, one of which was previously reported as West Nile fever and has been upgraded to neuroinvasive disease. Lafayette Parish has seven neuroinvasive cases, two of which were previously reported as West Nile fever. Caldwell and Rapides parishes each have three neuroinvasive disease cases, and Calcasieu, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes each have one case of neuroinvasive disease.

You can find more information about West Nile from the State health department online.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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