BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Health reported Monday the first human cases of West Nile virus for this year.
These initial cases are listed in this year’s first weekly Arboviral Report and shows nine WNV infections, distributed as follows: Two cases in Washington Parish and one case each in St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston parishes.
Two cases of West Nile fever: one case each in East Baton Rouge and Washington parishes Two asymptomatic cases: both cases, one in Caddo Parish and one in Washington Parish, were diagnosed because of a blood donation.
This is the most serious type, infecting the brain and spinal cord. Neuroinvasive disease can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage, according to the state Department of Health and Hospitals.
A milder viral infection in which people experience flu-like symptoms, officials said.
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.
In comparison, the department reported 53 West Nile virus cases at this time last year.
Each week, the department will update and post the Arboviral Report with more detailed information about West Nile virus infections in Louisiana. The reports are available here.
Learn more about West Nile prevention here.