DHH reports 2013’s first human case of West Nile virus
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has reported the state’s first case of West Nile virus in a human in 2013. The case was confirmed July 22nd in Caldwell Parish and was determined to be a neuroinvasive disease.
Health officials characterize West Nile infections three ways: neuroinvasive, West Nile fever and asymptomatic. A neuroinvasive disease illness is caused by West Nile virus attacking the nerve cells. In older people, it may be very severe and could result in 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.
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