DHH confirms 4 new cases of West Nile virus

Louisiana's health department says four new cases of West Nile virus bring this year's total to 14.

It says the new cases include the year's third nervous system infection -- the infection's most dangerous form. That patient is in St. Tammany Parish; earlier neuroinvasive cases were reported in Rapides and Vernon parishes.

The other new cases are an East Baton Rouge Parish patient with flu-like West Nile fever and two people without symptoms, found by blood donor screening in Bossier and West Baton Rouge parishes.

That brings the total to eight cases without symptoms and three with fever.

State epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says West Nile virus is a fact of life in Louisiana now, so everyone should take precautions against mosquito bites and mosquito breeding places.