BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says Louisiana's West Nile season is off to a late start, so the total number of cases may be low.

He says the state's first 14 cases have been confirmed, all in people who became ill before floods inundated south Louisiana.

Eight are dangerous infections of the brain or other parts of the nervous system, four are flu-like West Nile fever, and two were without symptoms, and turned up by blood tests.

Department official Frank Welch says the risk of West Nile virus will go up in areas that flooded. He says the immediate effect will be fewer numbers of mosquitoes, but as waters subside they'll return and breed in standing water.

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