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Story Archives: Sixth West Nile case reported in parish
|Sixth West Nile case reported in parish|
A sixth West Nile case in Concordia Parish has been reported by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHHR).
The agency continues to detect West Nile cases up to the year's end, with state health officials reporting 11 new cases and one new death on Friday, included the new Concordia case.
Five cases had previously been reported in the parish: Two West Nile neuroinvasive, the most serious type; two West Nile Fever, a milder viral infection; and one asymptomatic in which the individual shows no symptoms.
There were four new neuroinvasive disease cases reported statewide on Friday, with one each from Bossier, Calcasieu, St. Helena and Winn parishes.
Five new West Nile fever cases reported, with one each from Bossier, Cameron, Concordia, East Feliciana and Orleans parishes.
Two new asymptomatic cases were reported, from Grant and Pointe Coupee parishes.
DHH officials say Louisiana is experiencing its worst West Nile outbreak in a decade this year, and nationwide, West Nile cases are the highest they have been since 2003.
Louisiana is among the 13 states with the highest case counts, though according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of the West Nile cases in the country are reported from the neighboring state of Texas.
"People expect to see West Nile cases slow down because we've started having subfreezing temperatures. But, it's important to recognize that mosquitos can hide in culverts or other sheltered areas, then reemerge when the weather gets warmer," said DHH Secretary Bruce D, Greenstein. "We've seen a lot of fluctuating weather around Louisiana, where it's cold one day and warm the next, so West Nile is still a health threat."
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.
Louisiana has had 382 West Nile cases, of which 156 are neuroinvasive disease, and 17 deaths, all of which occurred within two weeks of disease onset, thus far in 2012.
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