3 new cases of West Nile virus in Louisiana

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals reports three new West Nile virus cases, all of them flu-like West Nile fever.

A news release Friday said diagnoses in Ascension, Lafayette and Ouachita parishes bring the year's total to 58 cases.

While most people never have any symptoms, about 10 percent get West Nile fever and some get infections of the brain or spinal cord, which can lead to brain damage, paralysis and death. Louisiana has had 34 such neuroinvasive cases, four of them fatal. Twenty people had West Nile fever and four had no symptoms.

DHH warns that mosquitoes, which spread the virus, are still a threat despite cooler temperatures. It recommends precautions such as using insect repellents outside and making sure window and door screens are intact.

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