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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve health and well-being in Texas
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Flu Surveillance – Sept. 18, 2015

DSHS is preparing for the 2015-2016 flu season, which officially begins Oct. 4, however there is always some flu circulating, so the agency monitors flu activity on a limited basis throughout the summer. Abbreviated surveillance reports can be found at the link below. Full flu surveillance activity will resume in October.

Flu vaccine is available now, and DSHS encourages people not to wait to protect themselves and their family by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report

Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports


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Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak – Oct. 6, 2015

The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to follow national guidance not to eat recalled cucumbers that may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria that can make people sick.

The guidance was issued in connection with a multi-state Salmonella Poona outbreak that appears to be linked to imported cucumbers from Mexico distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, a California company.

The investigation has identified more than 700 confirmed Salmonella Poona cases nationwide, including 34 in Texas. The Texas count includes one death, a person with serious underlying health conditions who died in late August.

If people are unsure whether cucumbers they have on hand are part of the recall, they should not eat them and throw them out.

A person infected with Salmonella usually has headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and sometimes vomiting beginning 12 to 72 hours after eating a contaminated food or beverage.

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West Nile in Texas – Oct. 6, 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.

Seven 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
Armstrong 0 1 1
Baylor 0 4 4
Bexar 2 1 3
Briscoe 1 0 1
Carson 0 1 1
Cass 1 0 1
Castro 2 0 2
Collin 1 3 4
Concho 0 1 1
Dallas 11 10 21
Dawson 0 1 1
Denton 1 4 5
El Paso 2 11 13
Falls 1 0 1
Floyd 1 3 4
Fort Bend 0 1 1
Gonzales 0 1 1
Gray 0 1 1
Gregg 1 0 1
Guadalupe 0 1 1
Hansford 1 0 1
Harris 6 18 24
Hunt 1 0 1
Jefferson 1 1 2
Johnson 0 1 1
Kaufman 1 1 2
Kleburg 0 1 1
Lubbock 3 7 10
Martin 0 1 1
Matagorda 1 0 1
Montgomery 7 5 12
Motley 1 0 1
Parker 0 2 2
Potter 1 0 1
Randall 1 9 10
Runnels 1 0 1
Scurry 1 1 2
Swisher 0 1 1
Tarrant 3 19 22
Taylor 0 1 1
Tom Green 0 1 1
Uvalde 0 1 1
Val Verde 0 1 1
Walker 0 1 1
Waller 0 1 1
Webb 0 1 1
Wichita 1 2 3
Zavala 0 1 1
Totals 54 122 176
Human West Nile Cases By County for 2015

More West Nile information

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Chikungunya – Oct. 6, 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
Denton 1
El Paso 2
Fort Bend 1
Franklin 1
Harris 3
Henderson 1
Hidalgo 1
Hunt 1
Tarrant 1
Travis 4
Walker 1
Williamson 1
Total 27

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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Last updated October 06, 2015