25 new West Nile cases statewide, one confirmed in Calcasieu - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

25 new West Nile cases statewide, one confirmed in Calcasieu

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) -

State health officials confirmed 25 new cases of West Nile on Friday, with one of those confirmed in Calcasieu Parish.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals releases new statistics each Friday.

There are seven new neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, from Ascension (1), Caddo (2), East Baton Rouge (1), Franklin (1), Grant (1) and Morehouse (1) parishes.

There are 18 new West Nile Fever cases, from Ascension (1), Bossier (1), Caddo (5), Calcasieu (1), East Baton Rouge (2), East Feliciana (2), Franklin (1), Jefferson (1), Livingston (1), St. Tammany (2) and Tangipahoa (1) parishes.

There are no new asymptomatic cases reported this week.

No West Nile deaths occurred this week.

State officials say that even though the fall season is underway, Louisiana residents should be reminded that West Nile virus remains a threat.

Louisiana is experiencing the most West Nile cases since its 2002 outbreak year, with 305 cases and 11 deaths from the disease reported thus far in 2012.

"We're still having warm weather, and many areas of the state experienced heavy rainfall in the past week, which means people must be aware of their risk for West Nile virus and 'Fight the Bite'," said DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "If you plan to spend time outdoors, put on mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing. It's also important to empty rainwater and other standing water around your property to prevent mosquito activity near your homes."

According to health officials, 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.

For more information on West Nile activity in Louisiana and prevention tips, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov/FighttheBite.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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