New West Nile cases in La. but no deaths this week - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

New West Nile cases in La. but no deaths this week

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BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) -

State health officials confirmed on Friday 29 new West Nile virus cases this week but no new deaths.

Louisiana has reported 280 cases and 11 deaths from the disease thus far in 2012, which marks the highest number of reported West Nile infections in several years.

When people are infected with West Nile, the virus will affect them in 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.

Of the new West Nile cases reported this week, 11 were of the most serious form, including from Caddo (1), DeSoto (1), East Baton Rouge (1), East Feliciana (1), Grant (1), Jefferson (2), Orleans (1), Rapides (1), St. Martin (1) and Tangipahoa (1) parishes.

There were 15 new West Nile Fever cases, from Caddo (3), Calcasieu (2), East Baton Rouge (2), Lafayette (1), Morehouse (1), Orleans (2), Terrebonne (1), Webster (1), West Feliciana (1) and West Baton Rouge (1) parishes.

But 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 were three new asymptomatic cases reported this week, from East Carroll (1), Iberville (1) and St. Tammany (1) parishes.

The most active year for West Nile cases in Louisiana was 2002, when the state experienced 328 cases and 24 deaths.

State officials remind citizens to wear repellant and protective clothing if they are going outdoors, and remember to empty standing water around their homes to prevent mosquitos from breeding and swarming.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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