News Updates

Loading...
Sign up for e-mail updates
Follow DSHS on Twitter

Últimas noticias en español


Flu Surveillance – Jan. 23, 2015

In the midst of what appears to be a particularly bad flu season, DSHS urges everyone six months old and older to get vaccinated against the flu. With elevated levels of flu circulating in Texas and most other states, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Many more people will come down with influenza before the flu season is over, and vaccination is the best way to protect against the illness.

Most flu cases so far this season have been caused by the H3N2 strain, often associated with more hospitalizations and deaths. DSHS tracks the number of pediatric deaths due to the influenza. This season, seven Texas children have died from the flu.

DSHS also encourages doctors to suspect the flu and prescribe antiviral medications that can shorten the illness and lessen its severity. Antivirals and vaccination are especially important for people at higher risk of complications from the flu, like pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions.

DSHS’s latest flu surveillance report classifies the geographic distribution of flu activity in Texas as “widespread,” indicating flu outbreaks or increases in flu-like illness and lab-confirmed flu in at least half the regions of the state.

Additionally, the intensity of influenza-like illness, measuring the proportion of doctor visits prompted by flu-like illness, is currently classified as “high.”

Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report

Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports

TexasFlu.org

back to top


Ebola – Dec. 10, 2014

While the Dallas Ebola event has ended, health officials continue to monitor all travelers who return to Texas from countries with widespread Ebola outbreaks. More than 200 travelers since late October have been monitored for symptoms in Texas.

Texas Guidelines for Returning Travelers

Texas has had three confirmed cases of Ebola. Health officials closely monitored about 340 people who had contact with them to watch for symptoms. The last person was cleared from monitoring Nov. 7. No additional cases were diagnosed.

Please visit www.texasebola.org for more information about Ebola in Texas.

back to top


West Nile in Texas – Dec. 30, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 353 cases of human West Nile illness in Texas this year, including four deaths (Hidalgo, 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.

County
WN Fever
WNND
Total Cases
Angelina 0 3 3
Austin 0 2 2
Bailey 1 1 2
Bastrop 1 0 1
Bexar 2 3 5
Brazoria 4 4 8
Brazos 1 2 3
Briscoe 3 1 4
Castro 4 1 5
Clay 1 0 1
Collin 1 0 1
Colorado 1 0 1
Comal 0 2 2
Crosby 1 1 2
Dallas 8 4 12
Deaf Smith 2 1 3
Denton 1 3 4
Ector 0 2 2
El Paso 7 8 15
Ellis 1 0 1
Erath 1 0 1
Floyd 2 1 3
Fort Bend 2 2 4
Galveston 1 1 2
Gray 0 1 1
Grimes 1 2 3
Hale 1 2 3
Hall 2 0 2
Hansford 0 1 1
Harris 24 89 113
Haskell 1 0 1
Hemphill 1 0 1
Henderson 0 1 1
Hidalgo 0 4 4
Hockley 0 1 1
Hopkins 1 0 1
Hutchinson 0 1 1
Jefferson 1 1 2
Lamb 1 1 2
Leon 0 1 1
Liberty 0 5 5
Lipscomb 1 0 1
Lubbock 3 4 7
Martin 0 1 1
McLennan 0 1 1
Midland 0 2 2
Montgomery 9 23 32
Moore 0 1 1
Navarro 1 1 2
Nueces 0 2 2
Ochiltree 0 1 1
Parker 1 0 1
Parmer 2 0 2
Polk 0 1 1
Potter 4 6 10
Randall 6 12 18
Runnels 0 1 1
Smith 0 1 1
Swisher 2 1 3
Tarrant 7 9 16
Taylor 0 1 1
Tom Green 1 3 4
Travis 2 4 6
Uvalde 0 2 2
Walker 0 2 2
Waller 1 0 1
Wichita 0 3 3
Williamson 0 1 1
Totals 118
235 353
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

back to top


Chikungunya – Dec. 30, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 66 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 (5), Brazoria (2), Collin (3), Comal, Dallas (9), Denton (7), El Paso (2), Fort Bend, Gonzales, Gregg, Guadalupe, Harris (9), Hays (2), Hidalgo, Midland, Montgomery (2), Orange, Tarrant (7), Travis (8), Williamson and Wise counties.

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

Additional Background: Chikungunya at CDC

back to top


Full Page
Last updated January 23, 2015