Monday, October 15, 2012

Tx. Dept of Health Services confirms flu outbreak in Laredo


Oct. 13, 2012 (PRWEB) October 13, 2012 -- The Texas State Dept. of Health Services (TSDHS) in Austin confirmed this week two Laredo school districts are reporting influenza cases this season, which are running at levels six times higher than in 2011.

The state’s acknowledgement is in sharp contrast to a recent report of sparse flu activity in the United States by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The CDC is now conducting further confirmatory testing, which was spurred by a new in-the-field surveillance system.

“This surprising early influenza outbreak – at levels usually seen only in the winter months – has been present almost from the onset in late August of the fall 2012 semester for both the Laredo Independent (LISD) and United Independent (UISD) school districts,” said Dr. Vincent Friedewald, Chief Medical Officer for Argus1 Systems, Austin.

The TSDHS this week identified samples obtained from children in the Laredo outbreak to be Type B influenza virus, and not the swine flu variety being sporadically reported across the USA during the past summer.

The testing of samples was spurred by the Laredo school districts’ use of a highly advanced, Internet-based, instant reporting system developed by Argus1 Systems Corp. of Austin, TX.
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