It is possible that oil and oily material present in the environment as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill will wash up on beaches, barrier islands, marshes, and other areas along Louisiana's coast during and following severe weather events. Members of the public should not handle any oil or oily material, including tarballs, tar mats, or other oily debris.
State health officials confirm three more people have died from West Nile virus, bringing the total to nine so far this year.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals also said Friday that 53 new human cases of the virus have been confirmed and mark 145 reported infections so far in 2012 — the highest number of cases the state has seen in the past several years.
Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says none of the salmonella-tainted cantaloupes that recently killed two people and sickened 141 nationwide have been traced to Louisiana.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the salmonella outbreak is linked to contaminated cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana. The outbreak comes a year after cantaloupes contaminated with listeria from Colorado killed at least 30 people and sickened 146.
Livestock exhibits are a popular part of farm country fairs, but they're coming with a warning this year: Don't pet the pigs. And wash your hands well after exhibiting swine.
Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is relaying word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It says human cases of swine flu rose last week from 29 to 158. Most of the patients were children who probably were infected while raising, displaying or visiting pigs at the fairs.
The CDC says the H3N2v virus may spread more easily to humans than is usual for swine flu viruses.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 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 were in Bossier and East and West Baton Rouge parishes. They include one patient with flu-like West Nile fever and two people without symptoms, found in blood donor screening.
The Food and Drug Administration has given the first OK for a drug to prevent HIV infection.
The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk.