First Human Cases of West Nile Virus Reported in Louisiana for 2014

WGNO

BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – The season’s first human cases of the West Nile virus in Louisiana involved three people from Livingston Parish who didn’t even know they had it, and only found out while donating blood or having blood work.

Health officials characterize that infection as a asymptomatic.  A neuroinvasive disease is caused by the West Nile virus attacking the nerve cells. In older people it may be very severe and could lead to brain damage or death. West Nile fever is less severe and gives most people mild flu-like symptoms.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, about 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever.

“These three infections serve as reminders that West Nile virus is here and all residents are at risk,” said Dr. Raoult Ratard, State Epidemiologist.

“Everyone should take simple steps to protect themselves…

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