The number of West Nile virus cases reported in Louisiana this year has climbed to 52 with the discovery of 10 new cases in the past week.

7 of the new cases were neuroinvasive, the most serious type affecting the brain and spinal cord.

The new infections include neuroinvasive disease cases in Ascension (1), East Baton Rouge (5) and Ouachita (1) parishes. There were three new asymptomatic cases in the state from Caddo (2) and Pointe Coupee (1) parishes. There were no new West Nile fever cases.

"Mosquitoes are out and biting and spreading West Nile virus," said DHH State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard. "Protecting yourself is very simple and it could spare you from getting this disease."

  • If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30 percent DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months of age. 
  • Those planning to be outside for extended periods of time should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and avoid using perfumes and colognes.