Posted: Aug 8, 2014 4:18 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Aug 8, 2014 5:16 PM
BATON ROUGE - State health officials confirmed that a second person has died due to the West Nile virus in Louisiana.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the victim was older than 75 and lived in the capital region.
DHH said 14 new cases were also reported in the state's latest surveillance report, bringing the year's total number of cases up to 29.
"The increased cases we are seeing this year are a firm reminder that West Nile Virus is a serious disease, and people need to be vigilant about protecting themselves," said Dr. Raoult Ratard, DHH State Epidemiologist. "We know from more than 10 years of surveillance that this disease is active in every corner of the state, and people are at risk of getting it regardless of whether cases or deaths occurred in their parishes. Everyone should take precautions against mosquito bites."
The new cases included neuroinvasive infections in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, and Ascension parishes. Neuroinvasive infections are the most dangerous form of the disease, which can cause brain swelling and death.
More details about West Nile virus prevention and infections can be found on DHH's website.