Last Modified: Saturday, October 06, 2012 7:51 PM
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's health department says 25 new West Nile virus infections have been reported in the state this week, including seven that caused potentially fatal neuro-invasive disease, the most serious consequence of the mosquito-borne virus.
The seven were reported in Ascension, Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Franklin, Grant and Morehouse parishes.
There were 18 cases of the less serious, flu-like, West Nile fever reported in Ascension, bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Franklin, Jefferson, Livingston, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.
The total number of West Nile cases in Louisiana this year has reached 305, the most since 2002. Eleven deaths have resulted this year, although no new deaths were reported this week.
In 2002, the state reported 328 West Nile cases and 24 deaths.
The health department said that even though fall has arrived, warm weather lingers. And that means residents should continue to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
The health department says most West Nile cases don't cause symptoms and are typically detected through blood donations or in the course of other routine medical tests. About 10 percent will develop West Nile fever. Only a small number of infected people will show the serious symptoms associated with neuro-invasive maladies such as encephalitis or meningitis.