West Baton Rouge Mosquito Control reported 22 of its 79 samples tested positive for West Nile Virus on Monday, Aug. 27. Last week, 28 of the 89 samples submitted, more than 31 percent, tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Louisiana leads the nation with the most reported cases of West Nile Virus this year, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). Louisiana and Mississippi have the highest number of people who have become seriously ill from the virus.
As of Aug. 21, there have been 25 cases of West Nile Virus in Louisiana, according to the CDC. Eighteen of those cases are neuroinvasive, the most severe type. Neuroinvasive cases can infect a person’s brain and spinal cord, potentially leading to brain damage or death. Figures provided by the CDC often lag behind state reports. According to the state reports, 31 residents have been diagnosed with nervous system infections, two deaths and 13 cases of West Nile fever. Nationally, 133 neuroinvasive cases of West Nile Virus have been reported.
There have also been nine reported asymptomatic cases, according to state reports. In those cases, a person has the virus but does not exhibit any symptoms.
Approximately 20 percent of people infected with the virus become ill. The virus spreads to the nervous system in about one out of every 150 cases, according to the CDC.
So far this year, 45 states and the District of Columbia have reported the virus in people, birds or mosquitos. Across the nation, 12 deaths have been reported.
The West Baton Rouge Mosquito Control updates its map of spray zones and positive-testing sites each Monday and reminds residents to be a skeeter beater.
Spray truck operations will be active in affected areas across the parish, weather permitting. The West Baton Rouge Mosquito Control urges residents to take proper precautions and protections against mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents, avoiding activity during dawn and dusk, seal cracks around windows and doors, and eliminate standing water around homes.