13 New Cases Of West Nile Confirmed; Chikungunya Cases Stable
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) —State health regulators have confirmed 13 new cases of West Nile virus, five of which are neuroinvasive disease infections — the most serious type of the virus, infecting the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.
The cases confirmed Friday bring this year's total number to 42.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the new infections include three neuroinvasive disease cases in Caddo Parish and one each in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
There were also new cases of the milder West Nile fever: four in Caddo and one in East Baton Rouge; and two asymptomatic cases, one each in Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes.
Last year, Louisiana saw 34 neuroinvasive disease cases, down from 2002's high of 204.
State health officials report no new cases of chikungunya (chih-kihn-GUHN'-yuh) fever or dengue (den-GEE) fever in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in its weekly Arbovirus Surveillance Summary released Friday, said so far there have been eight cases of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia, and one of dengue fever.
DHH says all of the infections took place while the individuals were outside of the United States.
LSU AgCenter entomologist Kristen Healy says each of the chikungunya cases was imported into the state — three from Haiti and five from the Dominican Republic. She says the eight cases include three each in Jefferson and Orleans parishes and one each in Grant and Tangipahoa parishes.
The dengue case was in St. Martin Parish.