Texas State Health Department Issues New Health Update on Lassa Fever Vaccine
The new health update issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recently acknowledged that a novel coronavirus had been identified in south Texas. The virus affects the respiratory system, specifically the larynx and the paranasal glands. It causes a variety of symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. This is the first known case of a new virus causing an outbreak of acute respiratory syndrome. The laboratory testing was done in the Dallas Healthcareplex, which is one of the seven local hospitals in Dallas. A specimen from an unknown individual was also sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
During the clinical investigation, testing criteria were established to diagnose patients with this novel coronavirus. Because the clinical criteria are rather specific, only a handful of individuals will be diagnosed with this condition. For instance, if a patient coughs up blood or develops a fever more than two days after exposure to the novel coronavirus, he or she should be tested for Lassa fever. The next step is to test individuals for other diseases, especially those that are closely related to Lassa. If none of the infections are detected, the specimens are sent to the Texas department of state health services’ laboratory for confirmatory testing.
Currently, there have been no new cases of Lassa fever. Of the eight people who received the covid-19 vaccine during the outbreak, all have recovered and none of them contracted the disease. However, as of this writing, the entire Lassa vaccinated population has been instructed not to receive the vaccine due to the recent outbreak of Lassa fever. The full vaccine schedule will be reviewed at regular intervals to see whether or not this virus is developing into more widespread disease.