NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The state health department says 15 new West Nile virus cases and one death from the virus have been reported in the past week.
In addition, one patient's illness changed from flu-like West Nile fever to a dangerous "neuroinvasive" infection affecting the brain or spinal cord.
State health Secretary Bruce Greenstein says the new cases include three in parishes reporting their first infections this year, so the virus clearly remains a threat.
Including the case that became more serious, the six new neuroinvasive cases included two each in Orleans and Rapides parishes, and one each in Jefferson and Tangipahoa parishes. Ten new fever cases include two each in East Baton Rouge, Rapides and Winn parishes, and one each in Assumption, Catahoula, Ouachita and St. Landry parishes.