Three new cases of West Nile Virus, including one potentially fatal, have been confirmed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, it announced Friday.
The potentially deadly neuroinvasive case was found in an adult in Vernon Parish while two asymptomatic cases were recorded in Tangipahoa Parish.
So far in 2011, DHH says Louisiana has had a total of four cases of human West Nile Virus, already a quarter of what the state recorded in 2010, which was the lowest total it has seen in 10 years.
In 2002, the first year the state began tracking the disease, 328 cases for found, including 204 of the neuroinvasive variety.
According to the DHH, West Nile can show as neuroinvasive, West Nile fever or asymptomatic. The neuroinvasive disease is severe and typically results in swelling of the brain or spinal cord. Those infected with this type of West Nile are at risk for brain damage or death, the DHH said.
Nearly 90 percent of West Nile cases are asymptomatic while 10 percent result in West Nile fever.
“It should always be taken seriously,” said Dr. Raoult Ratard, state epidemiologist with DHH.