BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In Ouachita Parish, a second death from the West Nile virus has been reported, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. The first death in the state occurred in Rapide's Parish about a month ago in August.
DHH has reported six cases of West Nile this week, totaling 45 cases for the state. The current week's new infections include 4 cases of neuroinvasive disease. Three of these infections are from Ouachita Parish, and one is from Lafayette. The two remaining cases are reports of West Nile fever, one each in St. Landry and St. Martin parishes.
West Nile is contracted when humans are bitten by mosquitoes with the virus. When you are infected, you can be affected by one of three ways.
DHH states, "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."
Everyone is at risk of infection, however, residents who are 65 years old and older are at a higher risk.
More information ca be found at www.dhh.louisiana.gov/fightthebite