Seven individuals diagnosed with West Nile Virus this month in La

July 26, 2017 - 9:25 pm
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WWL.com

West Nile activity is picking up in Louisiana as the state Office of Public Health says seven individuals have been diagnosed with the mosquito borne disease this month.

Three cases have been reported in the Baton Rouge area and the others are in in Bossier, Ouachita, Rapides and Morehouse. 

OPH Assistant Secretary Dr. Parham Jaberi says each year we’re seeing a decrease in cases from the year before.

“We’ve had a little bit of a late start to our West Nile cases. How early or how late we start can be an indicator of how significant the report and the trends can become.”

Two deaths were reported from the West Nile Virus in 2016 and none have been reported this year. Jaberi says mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, which Louisiana has seen a lot of after recent rainfall.

“Water that’s collected in pools or in birdbaths or any other containers that breed mosquitoes, that could potentially put someone at higher risk of being bit by a mosquito.”

Jaberi says 90% of West Nile cases are asymptomatic. But he says a very small percentage of individuals who contract the virus will develop the neuroinvasive disease.

“Those are the cases where you wind up in the hospital because the person is severely ill, they are experiencing symptoms that are extremely painful or they have a change in their neurological status.”

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