SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana health officials have confirmed 4 new cases of the West Nile Virus in Northwest Louisiana, the first in the region so far this year.
Of the 4 cases, 2 are the more serious, less common form of the disease.
DHH Office of Public Health Region 7 Medical Director Dr. Martha Whyte confirmed Monday that there have been 2 new cases of the neuroinvasive (NID) form of West Nile Virus reported in humans since August 24 in NWLA: one in Caddo Parish and the other in Bossier Parish.
NID case involve potential inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissue. The other 2 cases in the region are asymptomatic, meaning they did not show symptoms but their blood tested positive for the disease.
While the LA DHH says 90 percent of all West Nile virus cases are asymptomatic (show no symptoms), about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever, which is typically characterized by fever, headache, and body aches which can last for just a few days or as long as several weeks.
Less than one percent of people bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease.
People most at risk for developing severe disease are those 65 and over and those with already compromised immune systems, but everyone is at risk for infection.
The DHH re-booted the state's "Fight The Bite" awareness campaign in July, after the first 3 cases of the year were confirmed in south Baton Rouge, Central and Southwest Louisiana.
The ages, sexes and current conditions of the new cases in Caddo and Bossier parishes have not been released.