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Enterovirus – September 26, 2014

DSHS has confirmed nine Texas cases of enterovirus D68, a virus that has been responsible for some cases of severe respiratory illness in other states. The nine cases identified were among 34 specimens submitted from children treated at Dallas hospitals. Seven cases were residents of Dallas County, one was from Denton County and one was from Anderson County. 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 – September 23, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 124 cases of human West Nile illness in Texas this year, including the death of a Montgomery County resident.

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.

County
WNND
WN Fever
Total Cases
Angelina 1 0 1
Bastrop 0 1 1
Brazoria 3 4 7
Dallas 3 5 8
Denton 1 1 2
El Paso 4 7 11
Ellis 0 1 1
Fort Bend 2 1 3
Galveston 1 0 1
Grimes 0 1 1
Hale 1 0 1
Hall 0 1 1
Harris 31 10 41
Hidalgo 1 0 1
Jefferson 1 0 1
Leon 1 0 1
Liberty 3 0 3
Lubbock 1 1 2
Midland 1 0 1
Montgomery 15 4 19
Nueces 1 0 1
Parker 0 1 1
Randall 1 0 1
Tarrant 5 2 7
Tom Green 1 0 1
Travis 3 1 4
Walker 1 0 1
Waller 0 1 1
Totals 82 42 124
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 – September 23, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 30 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, Dallas (2), Denton (3), El Paso, Gonzales, Harris (6), Midland, Montgomery, Tarrant (4), Travis (4) and Williamson counties.

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

Additional Background: Chikungunya at CDC

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Cyclospora – August 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
Cases
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 18 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

TexasFlu.org

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Last updated September 26, 2014