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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

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Cyclospora – August 18, 2015

A recent surge in reports of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospora has prompted DSHS to investigate the infections in hopes of determining a common source. DSHS has received reports of 243 Cyclosporiasis cases from around Texas this year. Past outbreaks have been associated with cilantro from the Puebla area of Mexico. While the investigation into the current outbreak is ongoing, DSHS has identified imported cilantro as a possible source of some infections.

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. People who think they may have a Cyclospora infection should contact their health care provider.

DSHS recommends thoroughly washing fresh produce, but that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite.

Last year, Texas had 200 cases, some of which were associated with cilantro from the Puebla region in Mexico.

Texas Cyclospora Health Advisory

County # Cases
Anderson 1
Andrews 1
Archer 1
Bexar 7
Caldwell 1
Clay 1
Collin 13
Comal 2
Coryell 2
Dallas 29
Denton 11
El Paso 2
Ellis 3
Erath 1
Fort Bend 3
Galveston 2
Grayson 1
Guadalupe 1
Harris 7
Hays 8
Henderson 1
Hidalgo 2
Hood 1
Hunt 2
Johnson 2
Kaufman 1
Kendall 2
Kleberg 3
Llano 1
Lubbock 1
McCulloch 1
Medina 1
Nacogdoches 1
Parker 3
Potter 1
Rockwall 1
Tarrant 11
Taylor 2
Tom Green 2
Travis 88
Val Verde 1
Victoria 1
Washington 1
Webb 1
Wichita 1
Williamson 12
Unknown or
pending county
assignment
2
2015 Cyclospora Cases By County

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West Nile in Texas – September 1, 2015

DSHS is reminding people about the danger posed by West Nile illness and encouraging people to protect themselves. People should reduce their risk of exposure to the mosquito-borne virus that causes it by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas; making sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition; wearing long sleeves and long pants outdoors when possible and using an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol.

As many as 80 percent of people who contract the virus will have no symptoms at all. Almost all others will have West Nile fever with symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. A very small minority will develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease, a life threatening illness that can cause neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

Two cases in 2015 have resulted in death. In 2014, there were 379 human cases of West Nile illness in Texas, including six deaths.

County WN Fever WNND Total Cases
Anderson 0 1 1
Bexar 1 0 1
Collin 0 1 1
Concho 0 1 1
Dallas 5 5 10
Dawson 0 1 1
Denton 1 2 3
El Paso 1 6 7
Gonzales 0 1 1
Harris 2 6 8
Jefferson 1 0 1
Johnson 0 1 1
Kaufman 1 0 1
Kleburg 0 1 1
Lubbock 0 2 2
Montgomery 2 2 4
Randall 0 2 2
Runnels 1 0 1
Tarrant 1 6 7
Wichita 0 1 1
Zavala 0 1 1
Totals 16 40 56
Human West Nile Cases By County for 2015

More West Nile information

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Chikungunya – September 1, 2015

Chikungunya is a viral illness causes fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes. All reported cases in Texas cases have been imported, meaning that travelers have acquired the illness while visiting parts of the world 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.

County Cases
Bexar 1
Collin 2
Dallas 6
El Paso 2
Fort Bend 1
Harris 3
Henderson 1
Hidalgo 1
Tarrant 1
Travis 3
Walker 1
Williamson 1
Total 23
Chikungunya

Additional information on chikungunya

Fight the Bite” to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses like chikungunya and West Nile virus.

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Blue Bell Update – May 14, 2015

DSHS has finalized a plan with Blue Bell requiring the company to take specific steps before it can sell ice cream to the public. Among the list of requirements, Blue Bell must conduct trial runs of each production line that consistently test negative for Listeria monocytogenes before ice cream from those lines can be sold. The company will also test ice cream, ingredients and equipment for Listeria and let state health inspectors review all results.

Agreement between DSHS and Blue Bell

Blue Bell Creameries previously recalled all products and stopped producing ice cream following the discovery of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes in certain ice cream products.

Ten past cases of listeriosis (Kansas, 5; Texas, 3; Arizona, 1; Oklahoma, 1) recently have been associated with Blue Bell products. The Texas cases identified as part of the outbreak are related to products made at the company’s Oklahoma plant. The Texas cases were hospitalized for unrelated problems before they developed Listeriosis between 2011 and 2014. The Kansas cases were identified and linked to products from the company’s Brenham plant.

Listeriosis is an infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The illness primarily affects older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms usually start within several days, though they can develop up to two months after eating contaminated food. Symptoms may include diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms followed by fever or muscle aches.

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Flu Surveillance – June 26, 2015

DSHS has concluded its full flu surveillance for the 2014-2015 flu season. The agency continues to monitor flu activity on a limited basis throughout the summer, and abbreviated surveillance reports can be found at the link below. Full flu surveillance activity will resume in the fall.

DSHS tracks the number of pediatric deaths due to the influenza. During the 2014-2015 flu season, 16 Texas children died from the flu.

Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report

Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports

TexasFlu.org

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Last updated September 02, 2015