The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has confirmed six new West Nile virus cases, bringing this year's total number of cases to 15. The new infections include three cases of neuroinvasive disease in Caddo Parish, two cases of West Nile fever, with one each in Caddo and Livingston parishes, and an asymptomatic case in East Baton Rouge Parish.
"If you're going outside, protect yourself," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard. "If mosquitoes are biting, everyone is at risk. We recommend you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your children. We encourage everyone to control the mosquito population by dumping standing water from containers around their home. This prevents mosquitoes from reproducing."
About 90% of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10% will develop West Nile fever. Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with the neuroinvasive disease.
Residents who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection.