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DHH confirms 13 new West Nile cases in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — State health regulators have confirmed 13 new cases of West Nile virus. Five of them are neuroinvasive disease infections — the most serious type of the virus, infecting the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.

The cases confirmed Friday bring this year's total number to 42.

The Department of Health and Hospitals said the new infections include three neuroinvasive disease cases in Caddo Parish and one each in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.

There were also new cases of the milder West Nile fever: four in Caddo and one in East Baton Rouge; and two asymptomatic cases, one each in Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes.

Last year, Louisiana saw 34 neuroinvasive disease cases, down from 2002's high of 204.

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