State News

13 West Nile virus deaths, 338 cases this year

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Posted: Oct 29, 2012 2:58 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: new orleans, west nile, virus, mosquitoes, deaths, infection

NEW ORLEANS - The West Nile virus continues to infect and kill people in Louisiana's worst year since 2002. State health officials say people need to keep fighting mosquitoes.

The health department says 139 people have come down with life-threatening neuroinvasive disease, and at least 13 of them have died. That compares to 24 deaths and 204 cases of encephalitis or meningitis in 2002.

The total number of cases is 338 this year. That includes flu-like West Nile fever and diagnoses in people who never had any symptoms. The total in 2002 was 328, but Dr. Raoult Ratard says comparing those figures is like measuring with a rubber band, because far more people with mild disease and none at all are now getting tested.

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