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First Human West Nile Virus Cases of 2014 Confirmed in Louisiana

photo of mosquito
Darlyne Marwaski Getty Images

Louisiana has recorded its first human cases of West Nile virus this year.  Fortunately, they were not here in the northwestern part.  

All three were recently confirmed in Livingston Parish and all three were asymptomatic, meaning those individuals did not know they were infected.  The virus was found when they were donating blood or having blood work done.

Health officials classify West Nile infections in three ways:  asymptomatic, West Nile fever, or neuroinvasive. About 90-percent of all cases are asymptomatic while most of the rest are West Nile fever.  Just a small number of people infected with the virus actually develop neuroinvasive disease, in which the virus attacks nerve cells.

State Epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says everyone is at risk for West Nile infection, regardless of age, but those who are 65 and older are at a higher risk for complications

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