The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has confirmed one new human case of West Nile Virus, bringing this year’s total to 10, according to a DHH news release.
The new case is from Calcasieu Parish.
Health officials characterize West Nile infections three ways: neuroinvasive, West Nile fever and asymptomatic.
A neuroinvasive illness is severe and typically results in a swelling of the brain or spinal cord. People with this illness are at risk of brain damage or death.
West Nile fever is less severe, with most people only suffering mild, flu-like symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals were never ill and were only discovered to have the West Nile virus in their blood when blood work was done for some other reason, such as blood donation, the release says.
The new case is neuroinvasive disease.
So far this year, the state has confirmed five neuroinvasive disease cases, three West Nile fever and two asymptomatic cases.
Two of this year’s neuroinvasive disease cases are from Calcasieu Parish, the release says.
About 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever.
Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with the neuroinvasive disease, the release says.
West Nile Virus is spread to humans through mosquito bites.