The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a health alert encouraging health care providers in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties to consider Zika virus infection in their patients and order testing as medically indicated.
Eligible Texas women on Medicaid can go straight to their pharmacist to pick up mosquito repellent. Texas Medicaid has issued a standing order for mosquito repellent prescriptions for women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant.
DSHS issued a health advisory last month following the diagnosis of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in a Texas teenager, the first case reported in Texas this year. DSHS reminds you to be aware of the possibility of Naegleria fowleri infection in patients presenting with bacterial meningitis-like symptoms and recent freshwater exposure.
Texas has experienced a large number of cyclosporiasis cases during the past four summers. DSHS reports at least some of the Texas cases in 2012–15 were associated with consumption of fresh cilantro imported from Mexico. Rapid reporting to public health authorities, enabling prompt investigation to identify possible common exposures, is essential to preventing additional cases of cyclosporiasis this year.
Texas has more declared disasters than any other state and physicians have been an integral part of preparing and responding to these hazards. But preparedness for public health emergencies in particular call for a strong physician role in working with public health to plan for these ongoing events.
Hot, humid locations like Southeast Texas provide the perfect environment for the spread of viruses travelers typically bring back to the United States after a trip to the tropics. Mosquitoes transmit dengue, and the only way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites.
Listen to the hour-long discussion (below) or download the slides.
Got Infectious Diseases questions? Call the Knowledge Center.