Texans Cleared From Ebola Monitoring
October 20, 2014
A group of 43 people in Texas who had contact with the state's first Ebola patient have been cleared from twice-daily monitoring after reaching the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease.
They have no Ebola symptoms and are not at risk of developing Ebola. They are able to continue normal daily activities without being monitored for symptoms. The group is a mix of health care workers, household contacts and community members whose last possible contact with the state's first patent was Sept. 28.
State health officials have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local health department in Dallas to closely monitor people who have had contact with the three Ebola patients. About 120 more people continue to be monitored for symptoms.
"Epidemiologists have worked around the clock to call and visit people who may have had any exposure, to make sure they were asymptotic and doing well," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "I'm happy we can tell people they are free and clear of monitoring. It provides a measure of relief and reassurance."
An additional group of people also are being monitored for symptoms because they were passengers on at least one of two Frontier flights that carried one of the health care workers who was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after travels. A small group of those passengers were identified as having sat within three feet of the health care worker and are considered to be at higher risk of exposure. That group has been directed to stay home.
Texas has had three confirmed Ebola cases. No additional cases of the disease have been diagnosed in Texas. The first patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was exposed to the disease in West Africa before traveling to Texas and being diagnosed. The second and third patients are both health care workers who cared for Duncan in the hospital.
CDC Advisory issues guidance regarding Ebola virus
August 4, 2014
Nigerian health authorities have confirmed a diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in a patient who died on Friday in a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, after traveling from Liberia on July 20, 2014. The report marks the first Ebola case in Nigeria linked to the current outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Health authorities also reported this weekend that two U.S. citizens working in a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, have confirmed Ebola virus infection. These recent cases, together with the continued increase in the number of Ebola cases in West Africa, underscore the potential for travel-associated spread of the disease and the risks of EVD to healthcare workers.
While the possibility of infected persons entering the U.S. remains low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that healthcare providers in the U.S. should consider EVD in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness, with compatible symptoms, in any person with recent (within 21 days) travel history in the affected countries and consider isolation of those patients meeting these criteria, pending diagnostic testing.
Further information is available here.
Texas Investigating Measles Exposures at Kansas Event
July 17, 2014
Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a measles health alert after being notified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that more than 30 Texas residents may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease at a Wichita, Kansas, softball event during the July 4th weekend.
At least three recreational softball teams from Texas traveled to Wichita to participate in the informal tournament held at the South Lakes Sports Complex. DSHS is investigating to get additional details about the event and who may have been exposed. DSHS has not yet identified any Texas measles cases associated with the event.
DSHS urges anyone in Texas who attended the event to call the department (512-776-7676) to report the potential exposure.
Anyone with measles symptoms should call their health care provider. Health care providers should be on alert for potential exposures and patients with measles symptoms.
The incubation period of measles is about two weeks from exposure to onset of rash, but may be as short as one week or as long as three weeks. People are contagious from four days before onset of rash to four days after the appearance of rash. The rash usually begins on the face and spreads to the trunk. Other symptoms include fever (higher than 101 degrees), cough, runny nose and sore eyes.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune or vaccinated will also become infected with the measles virus.State health officials urge immunization to protect against and prevent the spread of measles. People should check their immunization status with their healthcare provider.
Last year there were 27 reported measles cases in Texas and none in 2012.
Doctors should consider measles in their diagnosis if they have a patient with a rash and fever. If measles is suspected, they should report the patient to their local health department as soon as possible. People who have measles or are suspected of having measles should seek medical attention and otherwise stay home until four days after the rash appeared. People with measles symptoms should contact the medical provider’s office before arrival to limit spread to other patients.
The health alert is available here.
Texas investiga exposiciones al sarampión durante evento de softbol en Kansas.