NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has confirmed three new cases of West Nile virus and the state's third death this year from the virus.

It's the second death this year in Rapides Parish from the virus.

The three new cases are all dangerous infections of the brain or spinal cord, called neuroinvasive disease. Two are in Lafayette Parish and one in Ouachita Parish.

They bring the year's human West Nile total to 51, including 32 neuroinvasive cases and 15 of flu-like West Nile fever. The other four people had no symptoms and were identified through blood tests.

At this time last year, doctors had confirmed 312 West Nile cases, 130 of them neuroinvasive and 141 of fever.

People get West Nile when they are bitten by infected mosquitoes.