TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Louisiana confirms 11 new West Nile virus cases

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) announced on Friday that it confirmed 11 new cases, including one death, of West Nile virus in the previous week.

The announcement brings the total number of West Nile virus cases in humans so far this year to 103 in Louisiana. Seven of the cases were neuroinvasive disease infections.

Louisiana health officials reminded residents to remain vigilant despite the changing of seasons.

"Temperatures are starting to drop in parts of the state, but the start of fall weather shouldn't change how you protect yourself from mosquito bites outside," DHH State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard said. "Remember that you can protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants when outside, using mosquito repellent and avoiding the outdoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are the most active."

Louisiana reported 34 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease in 2013. The highest number reported was in 2002, when Louisiana confirmed 204 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease infections.

The DHH also announced on Friday that no new cases of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), chikungunya or dengue fever were reported in the state. Seven cases of EEE, 10 chikungunya fever cases and one case of dengue fever have been confirmed in Louisiana so far this year.