Louisiana's health department says three new cases of West Nile virus infection have been confirmed in the state — including a potentially fatal case in Vernon Parish.
Two of the people who tested positive for the infection showed no symptoms. They were in Tangipahoa Parish.
But the Vernon Parish case involves what officials call "neuro-invasive" disease — the first such case in the state this year.
A neuroinvasive illness is severe and typically results in a swelling of the brain or spinal cord. It can cause brain damage or death.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said the three new cases reported Friday bring the total number of people known to have been infected this year to four. The Vernon Parish patient is the only one who became ill.