Regional Medicine News
The Texas Department of State Health Services has identified 283 cases of Zika virus infection through December 16, 2016. Most of these infections were identified in travelers. Six infections appeared to be associated with local mosquito bites. Twenty infections have occurred in pregnant women, and two infections occurred following sexual contact with travelers. Counties with 20 or more cases of infection included Bexar County, Dallas County, Harris County, and Tarrant County. Most Zika virus infections are asymptomatic or cause only mild infections. Symptoms might include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. However, in some outbreaks Zika virus infection has been associated with Guillain - Barré syndrome and microcephaly in neonates. Infections can be identified with PCR tests for Zika virus RNA and serologic tests for IgM antibodies against Zika virus. There is no specific treatment for this infection. The public needs to limit contact with mosquitoes, and municipal organizations need to undertake mosquito control measures. (http://www.texaszika.org/).
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an important vector for the Zika virus.
HANTAVIRUS PULMONARY SYNDROME
The New Mexico Department of Health has reported eight cases with Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in 2016. These cases included five men and three women with ages ranging from 20 to 84. Available information indicates that four out of the six initial cases died. These patients present with fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They rapidly develop respiratory distress with bilateral interstitial/alveolar infiltrates. There is no specific treatment for this infection; most patients require mechanical ventilation. Public health efforts should focus on control of the rodent populations and safe management of the environment when cleaning areas likely inhabited by rodents. Clinicians need to consider this diagnosis in patients presenting to emergency centers with nonspecific symptoms suggesting acute infection. (https://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2016/12/?view=520).
The deer mouse (Peromyscus) is a common vector for the Sin Nombre virus which causes the Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
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