Here is the latest from health officials

  • Health department investigates severe lung disease among e-cigarette users

    Posted by Casey Bain on 8/22/2019
    Texas Department of State Health Services

    You are subscribed to the Texas Department of State Health Services School Nurse Practice Resources.

    Health department investigates severe lung disease among e-cigarette users

    The Texas Department of State Health Services is investigating suspected Texas cases of severe lung disease in adolescents who used e-cigarettes. DSHS was first notified of possible cases last week following similar reports in youth and young adults in several other states.

    A DSHS health alert asks health care providers to watch for cases of severe lung disease and ask about e-cigarette use, or vaping, in patients with severe respiratory symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. DSHS is urging clinicians who identify cases to gather information about the products used and ask patients to save the vaping liquid in case it’s needed for testing.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 94 cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in 14 states dating back to late June. All patients have tested negative for infectious diseases, and some have required hospitalization. In addition to respiratory symptoms, some patients experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    More information is needed to determine a cause, and DSHS is working with the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and other states to gather evidence about what the cases have in common and what is leading to the injuries.

    Vaping is not safe for kids, youth or young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that can affect brain development in the teens and 20s. Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Find more vaping facts at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/tobacco/E-Cigarettes.

    -30-

    (News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119)

    Comments (-1)
  • Measles Health Alert

    Posted by Casey Bain on 2/7/2019

    February 6, 2019

     

    Denton County Public Health (DCPH) has a confirmed case of measles, based on clinically compatible symptoms and lab results. The case did not have a history of international travel during the exposure period and has no known contact with a measles case.

     

    Due to the highly communicable nature of this disease, and the recent increase in cases nationwide, we advise clinicians to follow the below recommendations.

     

    DCPH requests that all clinicians consider measles in the initial differential diagnosis of patients presenting with the following symptoms, particularly those who have traveled abroad, come into contact with known measles cases, or have a non-immune status to measles:

    • Fever, typically ≥ 101°F (38.3°C)
    • Generalized maculopapular rash lasting ≥ 3 days, usually beginning in the face and spreading to the trunk
    • Cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis or Koplic spots

     

    Please take appropriate infection control precautions and immediately report suspected cases to DCPH at (940) 349-2909. It is preferred that contact be made while the patient is present in the clinical setting in order to facilitate testing and initiate the public health investigation, including follow-up of potential exposures.

    Measles is highly contagious and is transmitted primarily from person to person by respiratory droplets and airborne spread. The incubation period is about 2 weeks (range of 7-21 days) from date of exposure to onset of illness. A person with measles is considered to be contagious 4 days before rash onset through the fourth day after rash onset. Please be aware of the following recommendations:

     

    Infection Control Precautions

    • In urgent/emergency healthcare settings, suspected cases should be triaged quickly from waiting areas, with airborne isolation precautions recommended. In outpatient settings, suspected cases should be scheduled at the end of the day, if feasible. Use of airborne infection control precautions is recommended for health care workers caring for patients with suspected measles (www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007IP/2007isolationPrecautions.html).
    • Healthcare facilities are reminded to review the measles immune status of all health-care workers. All healthcare personnel should have documented evidence of measles immunity on file at their work location (www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2017.pdf).

     

    Diagnostic testing

    Patients meeting clinical case definitions should have the following done at the initial health care provider visit:

    • Blood drawn for serological testing to detect measles IgM and IgG antibody; AND
    • Pharyngeal (preferred) or nasopharyngeal swab collected for PCR testing. Please contact DCPH to coordinate PCR specimen collection and testing.

     

    Control Measures

    • Control measures are more effective when applied as early as possible. Measles vaccination may prevent disease if given early (within 72 hours of exposure) to those who may have potentially been exposed and are not fully vaccinated (i.e. those not having received 2 measles vaccines). Measles vaccination following exposure may also provide some long-term protection, but generally should be followed with a second vaccination in at least 1 month for the best protection. Immune globulin may be indicated for some persons, but should not be used to control an outbreak.
    • Contraindications to measles vaccination include previous anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine component and severe immunosuppression. Measles vaccination is also contraindicated during pregnancy and pregnancy should be avoided for at least a month following vaccination. Close contact with a pregnant woman is NOT a contraindication for measles vaccination. Breastfeeding is NOT a contraindication to either the woman or the breastfeeding child.

     

    Exclusionary Criteria

    • In those with measles, rash onset typically appears between the 3rd and 7th day of illness. Persons should be excluded from school/work and other group settings until after the fourth day of rash onset. During an outbreak, susceptible persons (i.e. those without documented immunization or previous measles infection) should be isolated from those who have measles to prevent further propagation of the disease. In schools or other group settings, children who have not been immunized should be excluded from the setting for at least 21 days after the last date the unimmunized child was exposed. Children should then be observed for signs and symptoms of measles.
    • Additional information on exclusion and readmission can be found at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/DCU/health/schools_childcare/SchoolHealth/

     

    Printable Version

    Comments (-1)
  • Texas Alerts Providers, Public about Mumps as cases reach 20-year High

    Posted by Cecelia Jones on 4/12/2017 4:00:00 PM

    Cases include spring break travelers to South Padre Island

    April 12, 2017 - The Texas Department of State Health Services is advising health care providers to be on alert for mumps in their patients as the state experiences a 20-year high in mumps cases. State, regional and local health departments are currently investigating multiple outbreaks throughout the state, including one involving possible exposures on South Padre Island, a popular spring break destination for students from Texas and elsewhere in the United States. Texas has had 221 mumps cases this year, the largest total since there were 234 cases in 1994.

    Mumps cases potentially linked to South Padre Island first came to light this week when another state health department contacted DSHS about a patient with mumps who had traveled to the area for spring break. DSHS alerted other states and has been notified of 13 mumps cases in people who traveled to South Padre Island between March 8 and March 22 from six states, including two cases from Texas.

    Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. People usually develop symptoms 16-18 days after being exposed to the virus, but it can be as long as 25 days. People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider, and anyone suspected of having mumps should stay home while they’re contagious – five days after swollen glands occur.

    Health care providers should consider mumps in patients with compatible symptoms and ask them about travel out of state, to South Padre Island from March 8 to 22 or about any possible exposure to someone with mumps. DSHS also reminds providers they must report suspected mumps cases to their local health department within one work day. Additional information for providers is in the health advisory at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/releases/2017/HealthAdvisory-04122017.aspx.

    Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. The mumps vaccine is the best way to keep from getting mumps, and research shows the mumps vaccine protects 88 percent of people who are fully vaccinated. However, some vaccinated people still get sick if they’re exposed to the virus, so it’s also important for people to help stop the spread of mumps by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks. If you don’t know your vaccination status, talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated.

     

    (News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119)

    Comments (-1)
  • Second case of Zika Virus Disease Confirmed in Denton County

    Posted by Cecelia Jones on 5/6/2016 4:00:00 PM

    May 6, 2016 – Denton County Public Health (DCPH) today has confirmed the second travel-associated case of Zika virus in a City of Carrollton resident.  The case is a male with recent international travel to the Dominican Republic, a country with active transmission.  As a reminder, there is no current local transmission.

     

    Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter.  Sexual transmission has also been reported in a small number of cases.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).  The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days.  DCPH advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms, as well as individuals diagnosed with Zika virus, to protect themselves from further mosquito bites, and also to practice safe sex.

    DCPH is recommending travel precautions to countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission.  To prevent the spread of disease, people traveling to those areas currently affected should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites while there. “We want to emphasize taking precautions when traveling abroad to avoid mosquito bites, and for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant to continue to delay travel to affected countries with active Zika transmission” says Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health.

     

    Residents should take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of getting Zika virus while traveling, and to observe the same precautions while home:

     

    • Drain standing water around their homes to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. Consider use of BTI briquettes (or mosquito dunks) in water that cannot be drained, such as small ponds and drinking troughs.
    • Be aware of mosquitoes during times that they are active, Dawn, Daytime, Dusk and evening hours.
    • Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) to exposed skin and to clothing when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends Picaridin (KBR 3023).
    • Dress in pants and long sleeves when outside and/or wear permethrin-treated clothing.

     

    Please visit the Denton County Public Health website www.dentoncounty.com/zika for additional information.

    Comments (-1)
  • First Zika Virus Disease Confirmed in Denton County

    Posted by Cecelia Jones on 4/13/2016

    April 12, 2016 – Denton County Public Health (DCPH) today has confirmed the first travel-associated case of Zika virus in a Denton County resident.  The case is a female with international travel to a country with active transmission in late January.

     

    Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter.  Sexual transmission has been reported in a small number of cases.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).  The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days.  DCPH advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms, as well as individuals diagnosed with Zika virus, to protect themselves from further mosquito bites.

    DCPH is recommending travel precautions to countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission.  To prevent the spread of disease, people traveling to those areas currently affected should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites while there. “We want Denton County residents to take precautions when traveling abroad to avoid mosquito bites, and for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant to delay their travel to countries with current Zika transmission” says Dr. Matt Richardson, Public Health Director.

     

    Residents should take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of getting Zika virus:

     

    • Drain standing water around their homes to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. Consider use of BTI briquettes (or mosquito dunks) in water that cannot be drained, such as small ponds and drinking troughs.
    • Be aware of mosquitoes during times that they are active, Dawn, Daytime, Dusk and evening hours.
    • Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) to exposed skin and to clothing when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends Picaridin (KBR 3023).
    • Dress in pants and long sleeves when outside and/or wear permethrin-treated clothing.

     

    Please visit the Denton County Public Health website www.dentoncounty.com/zika for additional information.

    Comments (-1)