DHH has confirmed the state’s fourth West Nile death this year, as well as four new infections, one in Acadiana.

A person died this week in Ouachita Parish, the second death from Ouachita Parish this year. This week’s new infections include two cases of the neuroinvasive form of the disease, one each in Acadia and Rapides parishes. This is the first case in Acadia Parish this year and the fourth in Rapides.

The neuroinvasive form of West Nile is the most serious form of the infection. It can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage. DHH says residents 65 and older are at higher risk for complications from this form of the disease, but everyone is at risk for infection.

There were two cases of West Nile fever, one each in Bossier and Caddo parishes.  West Nile fever is the milder viral infection in which people report flu-like symptoms.

According to DHH records, this is the parish-by-parish breakdown of the neuroinvasive cases of West Nile virus this year: Ouachita, 14; Lafayette, 9; Rapides, 4; Caldwell, 3; Acadia, 1; Calcasieu, 1; Livingston 1; and St. Tammany 1.

There have been four West Nile deaths total

DHH reminds all residents to remain vigilant about protecting themselves against mosquito bites, as this is how West Nile disease is contracted. If you need to be outside, wear mosquito repellent containing DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when you will be outdoors for long periods of time. Avoid perfumes or colognes while you are outdoors.

For more information, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov/fightthebite.

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