The Department of Health and Hospitals says there were seven new cases of West Nile reported this week -- bringing to eight the number of cases so far this year.  

By this time last year the state had recorded 53.  None of the new cases were here in the northwestern part of the state.  There were two neuroinvasive disease cases -- one each in Calcasieu and Ouachita Parishes.  Four of the new cases were West Nile Fever -- with two in Lafayette Parish and one each in Ascension and St. Tammany. There was also one asymptomatic case in St. Tammany.

West Nile is transmitted by mosquitos and state health officials urge everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to do everything they can to eliminate mosquitos around their homes and businesses.