The News Star, Monroe, La., on West Nile virus:

Sept. 2

The News Star, Monroe, La., on West Nile virus:

... The list of fatal diseases attributable to the lowly mosquito is such that it can chill laymen and historians alike. Malaria and yellow fever. Dengue fever and various forms of encephalitis. Mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually, with millions of resulting deaths.

Through the years, medical research has tamed some of the diseases, but not all. And in northeastern Louisiana, a potential killer is paying its annual visit.

Ouachita Parish is leading the state in cases of West Nile virus. West Nile is transmitted to mosquitoes when they bite infected birds. Mosquitoes then transmit it to people. In most cases, humans who have West Nile are blissfully unaware. It’s asymptomatic, and they learn they are carriers only after blood is drawn for a test.

Others experience mild flu-like symptoms. Known as West Nile fever, this form causes no long-term problems.

But for a few unlucky people, more prevalently among older people, the virus takes a potentially deadly form, neuroinvasive West Nile. This year, Ouachita Parish has reported five cases of neuroinvasive disease, Caldwell Parish has two cases. Neuroinvasive disease can lead to death, paralysis and brain damage.

It’s serious stuff.

Precautions can, and should be taken to reduce the likelihood of contracting West Nile. ...

We have, in news stories and past editorials, gone over the precautions time and time again. As long as we suffer one case of neuroinvasive West Nile in Ouachita Parish, we’ll keep at it. They could save your life. ...


St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

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P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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