Could it be that 2012 will be the worst year for West Nile virus? In Louisiana alone, infections are the highest they have been in six years. Reportedly, there have been 176 cases and ten deaths. Most commonly, about 80 percent of those infected will never see any symptoms. 20 percent will have symptoms that are severe flu like, and one percent will find out they have West Nile in a routine blood test. Mosquito abatement programs across the state are working to keep the number of cases down, but some circumstances make that difficult.
The sugarcane industry has been a fundamental part of Louisiana’s history, culture, and economy for over 200 years. The industry employs over 162,000 jobs nationally and contributes nearly $2 billion to Louisiana’s economy annually. Although sugar remains a staple in Louisiana and southern cultures, many people aren’t aware of the rich history and valuable importance that this sweet commodity contributes to our livelihoods.