2003 - 2004 Texas Influenza Surveillance Information
The flu activity level for Texas, week 1, 1/4/04 to 1/10/04, is widespread. There is an overall sense that flu activity is decreasing in the state; however, the activity still meets the CDC definition of widespread. Widespread means there is increased flu activity, (influenza-like illness or positive lab result), in at least half of the state's public health regions. There are 11 public health regions in Texas, and flu activity has been identified in 9 of those regions during this reporting week. Influenza A H3 and Influenza B are circulating in the state.
Other noteworthy global flu news: Avian flu (A H5N1) outbreaks have been reported from Viet Nam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, killing large numbers of poultry and requiring large numbers of poultry to be culled. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lab results have confirmed the presence of this flu strain in samples taken from 2 children and 1 adult admitted to a hospital in Viet Nam with severe respiratory illness. Since the end of October, 14 persons have been admitted to hospitals in Viet Nam with severe respiratory illness, 13 children and 1 adult (the mother of a deceased child). To date, 11 of the children and the adult have died. It's not known whether all the cases were caused by flu A H5N1; and there is no evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred. Investigation of the cases and in the prevention of further spread to humans is ongoing.
Every case of avian flu virus transmission to humans is cause for increased surveillance and vigilance. It is the mixing of avian and human flu viruses that could lead to a new flu virus that humans would have little, if any, protection against.
For more information on the avian influenza outbreaks, visit the WHO site at: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2004_01_13/en/print.html.
A map of Public Health Regions in Texas.