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Ebola – Oct. 20, 2014

Case Count
Texas has had three confirmed cases of Ebola. The first patient died in Dallas Oct. 8. The second patient, a health care worker, was diagnosed Oct. 11. The third patient, a health care worker, was diagnosed Oct. 15. 

People Being Monitored (CDC)
DSHS is working closely with the CDC to monitor people who have had contact with the three Ebola patients, Ebola specimens or potentially contaminated surfaces. About 116 are being monitored for symptoms. A total of 51 people have completed surveillance.

Direction to Health Care Workers Who Entered Ebola Patient's Room (60 kb pdf)
People who entered the hospital room of Thomas Eric Duncan, the state's first Ebola patient, are being directed not to go to public places, such as grocery stores, or travel by plane, ship or train until 21 days after exposure. The direction comes after a health care worker involved in Duncan's care had been on a flight shortly before diagnosis of the disease.

Direction to Lab Personnel (48 kb pdf)
​A group of hospital lab workers who handled Ebola specimens are being monitored twice day for symptoms and have been instructed not to travel. They did not have direct contact with any of the three patients and are not considered to be significantly at risk.  

Direction to Health Care Workers Who Cared for Colleagues with Ebola (50 kb pdf)
A small group of people who took care of the state’s second and third Ebola patients – both health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital – have been instructed not to travel and are being monitored twice a day for symptoms. They have also been given the option to stay at the hospital on a non-admission status for monitoring.

Direction to Flight Passengers Who Sat Within Three Feet of Health Care Worker (62 kb pdf)
Texas health officials are contacting nearly 200 people in Texas who were passengers on at least one of two Frontier flights between Cleveland and Dallas that carried a health care worker who was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after her travels. All passengers who were on the two flights are being monitored for symptoms twice a day by Texas public health officials.  A small group of those passengers were identified as having sat within three feet of the health care worker and are considered to be at a higher risk of exposure.  That group has been directed to stay home and not travel by plane, ship, long-distance bus or train.

Enterovirus – Oct. 9, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 14 Texas cases of enterovirus D68, a virus that has been responsible for cases of severe respiratory illness in more than 40 states. The children with confirmed cases were residents of Anderson, Bexar, Dallas (7), Denton, and Lubbock (4) Counties. One additional confirmed case was in a resident of another state.

Enterovirus D68 is one of more than 100 enteroviruses that cause mild to severe respiratory illness and usually peak in the summer and fall. EV-D68 prompted concern this summer when health officials in Chicago and Kansas City identified unusual clusters of severe respiratory illness in children. More than half of the children involved had a history of asthma or wheezing, so parents and caregivers of children with asthma should be on guard for unusual symptoms. Similar clusters have not been reported in Texas. The cases confirmed so far had onsets ranging from late July to early September.

People should protect themselves from respiratory illnesses by:

  • Covering all coughs and sneezes.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
  • Staying home if sick.

If a child is having difficulty breathing, parents or other caregivers should seek medical treatment immediately.

Additional information from CDC

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West Nile in Texas – Oct. 14, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 212 cases of human West Nile illness in Texas this year, including three deaths (Montgomery, Midland and Tom Green counties).

West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus. There are two forms of the illness, West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) and West Nile fever (WN fever). The symptoms of severe infection from West Nile neuroinvasive disease include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. West Nile fever is the milder form of the illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

DSHS reminds Texans to reduce the risk of exposure by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas; making sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition; and using a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535 or para-menthane-diol products when outdoors.

WN Fever
Total Cases
Angelina 0 2 2
Austin 0 2 2
Bailey 1 0 1
Bastrop 1 0 1
Bexar 1 1 2
Brazoria 4 4 8
Brazos 1 0 1
Briscoe 2 1 3
Castro 2 1 3
Colorado 1 0 1
Comal 0 1 1
Crosby 0 1 1
Dallas 6 3 9
Deaf Smith 0 1 1
Denton 1 3 4
Ector 0 2 2
El Paso 7 7 14
Ellis 1 0 1
Erath 1 0 1
Floyd 1 1 2
Fort Bend 2 2 4
Galveston 0 1 1
Grimes 1 1 2
Hale 1 1 2
Hall 2 0 2
Harris 12 43 55
Haskell 1 0 1
Hemphill 1 0 1
Hidalgo 0 1 1
Jefferson 1 1 2
Leon 0 1 1
Liberty 0 4 4
Lubbock 2 2 4
McLennan 0 1 1
Midland 0 2 2
Montgomery 6 19 25
Moore 0 1 1
Navarro 1 1 2
Nueces 0 1 1
Parker 1 0 1
Parmer 1 0 1
Polk 0 1 1
Potter 2 3 5
Randall 2 4 6
Smith 0 1 1
Swisher 1 1 2
Tarrant 5 6 11
Tom Green 0 3 3
Travis 1 3 4
Uvalde 0 1 1
Walker 0 2 2
Waller 1 0 1
Wichita 1 0 1
Totals 75 137 212
Human West Nile Cases By County for 2014

Human West Nile Cases By County for 2013

Human West Nile Cases By County for 2012

More West Nile data

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Chikungunya – Oct. 14, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 40 Texas cases of chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes. All cases have been imported, meaning that travelers have acquired the illness while visiting areas where the virus is more common. However, those imported cases mean there is a potential for chikungunya to spread in Texas because the Aedes mosquitoes that transmit it are present in the state.

Cases have been confirmed in Bexar (4), Brazoria, Collin (2), Dallas (4), Denton (5), El Paso, Gonzales, Gregg, Harris (5), Hays (2), Midland, Montgomery, Tarrant (6), Travis (5) and Williamson counties.

First Case News Release: Texas Confirms State’s First Chikungunya Case

Additional Background: Chikungunya at CDC

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Cyclospora – Aug. 28, 2014

The Cyclospora illness outbreak being investigated by DSHS and local health departments in Texas along with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration appears to have ended. The number of new illnesses being reported has returned to background levels, and the investigation has linked the cases in four restaurant clusters to cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite. The major symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks.

126 cases are considered part of the outbreak with an onset of illness after May 1 and no history of international travel within the two weeks before onset. Most cases occurred in June and July. However, it is unknown whether all illnesses are linked to cilantro. 166 total cyclosporiasis cases have been reported in Texas in 2014. Most of the cases are in residents of North Texas.

DSHS, in conjunction with local health departments, investigated four restaurant clusters in North Texas that included a total of 21 people who got ill. All 21 reported eating a food item from the restaurant containing cilantro within two weeks before becoming ill. A preliminary traceback investigation conducted by FDA and DSHS has identified Puebla, Mexico as the source of the cilantro that was served in all four restaurants. While the investigation has not found samples of cilantro contaminated with cyclospora, there is enough evidence to establish a strong epidemiological link between the illnesses and the cilantro. The state of Puebla was also identified as the source of fresh cilantro linked to a cyclosporiasis outbreak in 2013.

DSHS and local health departments continue to monitor for new cyclosporiasis cases.

Additional information from CDC

Additional information from FDA

County of Residence
Aransas 1
Bexar 12
Camp 2
Collin 12
Comal 3
Dallas 38
Denton 8
El Paso 1
Ellis 4
Erath 3
Fort Bend 2
Galveston 1
Gonzales 1
Harris 15
Hays 1
Hidalgo 2
Hood 1
Hunt 1
Jefferson 1
Johnson 2
Kaufman 3
Kendall 1
Lamar 1
Lee 1
Lynn 1
McLennan 1
Montgomery 2
Navarro 1
Nueces 2
Parker 2
Rockwall 2
San Patricio 2
Somervell 1
Sutton 1
Tarrant 19
Travis 8
Trinity 1
Webb 1
Williamson 4
Wise 1
Total 166
Cyclosporiasis Cases by County for 2014

News Release

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Flu Surveillance – 2013-2014

The 2013-2014 flu season has ended, but DSHS will continue limited influenza surveillance throughout the summer. Weekly reports are available via the link below. Full flu surveillance will resume in the fall.

DSHS has confirmed 20 influenza-associated pediatric deaths in Texas for the 2013-2014 season. There is always some flu circulating, so people should continue to protect themselves and others even during the summer months by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently and staying home if sick.

Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report

Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports

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Last updated October 20, 2014