Louisiana's 1st West Nile virus case of 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana's health department says a blood test found the state's first human case of West Nile virus this year in a St. Bernard Parish resident who didn't have any symptoms.

That's true of 90% of all people infected with the virus. Those cases are found if they donate blood or have blood tested for another reason. About 10% will develop a flu-like fever and a very few will have dangerous infections of the nervous system.

Last year, Louisiana recorded 12 human cases of the virus - the least since tracking began in 2002. That first year was the worst, with 328 cases.

Mosquitoes spread West Nile virus. Dr. Raoult (rah-OOL) Ratard (ruh-TAHR), the state epidemiologist, says people should protect themselves against mosquitoes year-round.


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