The total of West Nile cases this year increase once again as another case was found this week in Ouachita Parish.According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, there have been a total of nine cases reported this year. This week's new infection is a case of neuroinvasive disease.
There are three ways the disease can affect humans if they are infected. Neauroinvasive diseases are the most serious types, and only a small number of infected individuals show serious symptoms. Ten percent of all cases contract the milder infection stemming from West Nile fever, which can cause flu-like symptoms. However in approximately 90 percent of cases, people will show no symptoms at all. These cases are usually discovered through routine tests and blood donations.
Humans can contract West Nile when they are bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus.If you are 65 years of age or older, you have a higher risk for complications with the disease. However, everyone is at risk of infection.
Last year, 160 cases of the neuroinvasive disease were reported in Louisiana. This total is lower than the 2002 record of 204 cases.