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Harris County confirms first Zika-associated death in Texas

Harris County, Texas (August 9, 2016) — Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has confirmed a Zika-associated death in a newborn female, making it the first Zika-related death in the State of Texas. HCPH received a positive Zika test result on an infant who was born with birth defects, including microcephaly. The child died shortly after being born. The mother traveled to Latin America during her pregnancy where it is suspected she became infected, and delivered the baby in Harris County.

“The saddest outcome of Zika’s health effects often impact the most vulnerable. We are devastated to report our first case of Zika-associated death and our hearts go out to the family,” stated Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Executive Director of HCPH. “While this is a travel-associated case, we know that prevention is key to reducing the risk of Zika virus infection. Harris County Public Health continues to actively work on protecting the community from mosquito-related diseases, but individuals must also protect themselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes locally and abroad.”

HCPH continues to encourage residents to take precautions to prevent Zika infection. When outdoors, prevent mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains one of the following: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow product instructions.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, a member of the state Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response said, “Despite the horrible news regarding the recent Zika-related death, the residents of Harris County should be reassured that their county and state officials are continuing to monitor Zika-related developments worldwide and have plans in place to respond to any potential risks to public health. County health officials and emergency management personnel have been studying Zika intently and are prepared to respond to any local developments.”

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NORTH CHANNEL CHAMBER EVENTS: Chamber hears of SETRAC Emergency Organization

DARRELL PILE

DARRELL PILE

JACINTO CITY – The CEO of SETRAC, the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, was the featured speaker at this month’s Chamber luncheon, held at the Jacinto City Town Center last Friday, August 5.

After an introduction by JC City Manager Lon Squyres, who is on the board of SETRAC, Mr. Pile explained to the audience the purpose and work of his organization. Pile is previously a healthcare administrator for the last 25 years. He also was the board chairman of the Northwest Houston Area Chamber.

Pile explained that SETRAC is a nonprofit coalition that unites area first responders, physicians, hospitals and healthcare leaders. The organization coordinates emergency medical response planning and establishes life-saving protocols in a nine-county region. The region includes over one hundred hospitals and over sixty 9-1-1 EMS agencies. The initiatives are funded through the Department of State Health Services, and encompass pre-hospital emergency services, trauma care, stroke care, cardiac care, perinatal care, and disaster preparedness and response.

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