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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve health and well-being in Texas
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Ebola – Nov. 21, 2014

Officials continue to monitor all travelers who return to Texas from countries with widespread Ebola outbreaks.

Several of those travelers are considered to be at “some risk” of exposure to Ebola and have agreed to avoid public places until they reach the 21-day mark. The rest are considered to be “low risk” contacts and are being monitored for symptoms.

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 the latest information about Ebola in Texas.


Flu Surveillance – Nov. 14, 2014

DSHS’s latest flu surveillance report classifies the geographic distribution of flu activity in Texas as “local,” indicating elevated flu-like-illness and recent laboratory-confirmed evidence of flu within a region 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 “minimal.”

DSHS urges everyone six months old and older to get vaccinated against the flu. It particularly important for pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions, because people in those groups are at a greater risk of severe complications if they do get the flu.

Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report

Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports

TexasFlu.org

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Enterovirus – Nov. 19, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 26 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 (3), Collin, Dallas (10), Denton, Grayson, Harris, Johnson, Lubbock (5), Midland and Tarrant 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.

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 – Nov. 18, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 295 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 0 1
Bastrop 1 0 1
Bexar 2 3 5
Brazoria 4 4 8
Brazos 1 2 3
Briscoe 3 1 4
Castro 4 1 5
Collin 1 0 1
Colorado 1 0 1
Comal 0 1 1
Crosby 1 1 2
Dallas 7 4 11
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 1 1 2
Fort Bend 2 2 4
Galveston 1 1 2
Gray 0 1 1
Grimes 1 1 2
Hale 1 1 2
Hall 2 0 2
Harris 21 73 94
Haskell 1 0 1
Hemphill 1 0 1
Hidalgo 0 2 2
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 3 6
Martin 0 1 1
McLennan 0 1 1
Midland 0 2 2
Montgomery 8 21 29
Moore 0 1 1
Navarro 1 1 2
Nueces 0 1 1
Ochiltree 0 1 1
Parker 1 0 1
Parmer 2 0 2
Polk 0 1 1
Potter 3 3 6
Randall 3 5 8
Runnels 0 1 1
Smith 0 1 1
Swisher 2 1 3
Tarrant 6 8 14
Taylor 0 1 1
Tom Green 0 3 3
Travis 1 4 5
Uvalde 0 1 1
Walker 0 2 2
Waller 1 0 1
Wichita 0 1 1
Totals 104
191 295
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 – Nov. 18, 2014

DSHS has confirmed 53 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 (2), Comal, Dallas (5), Denton (6), El Paso (2), Gonzales, Gregg, Harris (8), Hays (2), Hidalgo, Midland, Montgomery, Orange, Tarrant (7), Travis (6) and Williamson counties.

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

Additional Background: Chikungunya at CDC

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Last updated November 24, 2014