New West Nile Virus cases confirmed in Caddo, Bossier Parish

Louisiana News

According to the CDC, West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.

CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – New cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Caddo and Bossier parishes, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The latest LDH weekly arbovirus surveillance report indicates one new case of WNV-NID in each parish as of September 12. NID is the neuroinvasive form of the mosquito-borne virus. It is the first case of NID confirmed this year in Bossier Parish. There are now a total of three NID cases confirmed in Caddo and one case of West Nile Virus Fever.

The only other parish in the state to report a WNV-NID so far this year is Tangipahoa.

The arbovirus reports are updated weekly on Fridays. The most recent report indicates two people in the state have died from WNV-NID since the first case was reported in early August.

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.

About 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever. Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with neuroinvasive disease (NID). Those who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.

Click here for more information about West Nile Virus from the Louisiana Department of Health.

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