First cases of West Nile Virus found in Louisiana - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

First cases of West Nile Virus found in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's health department is reporting its first human cases of West Nile Virus for the year have been found in Livingston Parish.

The three cases are all symptomatic, which means the individuals did not know they were infected, and only found out because they were donating blood or having blood work done.

Dr. Raoult Ratard, the state epidemiologist, says the discovery is a warning for residents. He says people should protect themselves from mosquitoes, which spread the virus to humans when they bite.

Ratard asks residents to wear mosquito repellant or cover your skin while outdoors, and dump standing water where the insects can breed from containers around your home.

Louisiana had 34 cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease last year, down from 2002's high of 204 cases.

 

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