The State is experiencing its worst West Nile outbreak in a decade this year.
Louisiana has had 371 West Nile cases, of which 152 are neuroinvasive disease, and 16 deaths in 2012.
Humans contract West Nile when they are bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus. When people are infected with West Nile, the virus will affect them one of three ways. West Nile neuroinvasive disease is the most serious type, infecting the brain and spinal cord. Neuroinvasive disease can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage. The milder viral infection is West Nile fever, in which people experience flu-like symptoms. The majority of people who contract West Nile will be asymptomatic, which means they show no symptoms. These cases are typically detected through blood donations or in the course of other routine medical tests.
There are six new neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, from Jefferson (1), Orleans (2), Tangipahoa (1) and Rapides (2) parishes. Five of these are newly identified cases, and one is a previously reported case that progressed into neuroinvasive disease.
There are 10 new West Nile fever cases reported this week, from Assumption (1), Catahoula (1), East Baton Rouge (2), Ouachita (1), Rapides (2), St. Landry (1) and Winn (2) parishes.