Seven new West Nile virus cases reported
BATON ROUGE - State health officials reported seven new cases of West Nile virus infection this week, bringing the state's total reported infections to eight for the year so far.
At this time last year there were 53 cases of West Nile virus reported. State officials said that while this year is off to a slow start, people should not let down their guard.
"Whether there are lots of cases or just a few, as long as there are mosquitoes, there is always a risk of becoming infected," said J.T. Lane Assistant Secretary for Public Health. "We urge people not to become complacent."
Two of the cases from Calcasieu and Ouachita parishes were neuroinvasive, the most serious form of the disease. There were four reported cases of West Nile fever, one each from Ascension and St. Tammany parishes and two from Lafayette Parish. There was one asymptomatic case reported from St. Tammany Parish.
State health officials said residents who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection.
For more on how to protect yourself, visit the DHH website.