- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state Department of Health and Hospitals says 20 people in Louisiana have been diagnosed with West Nile virus so far this summer.

A news release Thursday says half had the most dangerous form, an infection of the brain or nervous system. Two others had flu-like West Nile fever, and eight did not have any symptoms and were diagnosed through blood tests.

State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry says everyone more than 2 months old should wear mosquito repellent containing DEET when they go outdoors.

He says people who plan to be outside for long periods should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.

Last year, Louisiana saw 61 cases of the dangerous neuroinvasive disease.

The department reported the summer’s first three cases on July 17. Thursday’s statement was the first since then.

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