New West Nile cases reported in Beauregard, Vernon - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New West Nile cases reported in Beauregard, Vernon

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BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) -

State health officials on Friday confirmed nine new West Nile virus cases, urging Louisiana residents to continue to protect their health and Fight the Bite.

No West Nile deaths occurred this week.  

There are five new West Nile Fever cases, with one case reported from Beauregard.

There was one new asymptomatic case reported this week, from Vernon Parish.

There are four new neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, with one case each reported from East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Terrebonne and Tangipahoa parishes. Three of these are newly reported cases, and one is a previously reported case that progressed into neuroinvasive disease, officials said.

Other West Nile Fever cases are from Bossier, East Baton Rouge, Iberia and Pointe Coupee parishes.

Officials said the state is experiencing its most active year for West Nile since 2002, which was the major outbreak year of the virus in Louisiana. So far, there have been 321 cases and 12 deaths from the disease reported this year.

"Even as we get later in the year, rates of West Nile cases have not slowed, and we need to keep up the fight against mosquito bites," said Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "If you're heading outdoors - to tailgate, to visit the pumpkin patch, to go for a walk and enjoy the fall weather - put mosquito repellant on first. Also, we continue having rain statewide, so everyone needs to be vigilant about emptying standing water to decrease mosquito activity."     

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.

According to officials, 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.

For more on West Nile, click HERE.

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