November 10, 2023
Flu who? Don't make its acquaintance
Flu season is now in full swing, and there's lots you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from it.
Regularly washing your hands goes a long way to protecting yourself from the flu and many other diseases. Other healthy habits include:
- getting the right amount of sleep,
- eating properly,
- getting enough exercise.
Those last two are a real challenge when the holidays roll around. But if you're willing to up your activity level so you can burn off a few more calories, you can offset some of that extra caloric intake.
October 16, 2023
Flu season and Halloween
Cool fall weather has never been more welcome. Traditionally, the flu season officially starts this month. But don’t forget there are other respiratory illnesses floating around, such as RSV and COVID-19. There's lots you can do to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses. Our public health centers will soon be offering low-cost flu shots as well as the latest COVID-19 booster vaccines. If you have questions about the flu vaccine, check out this page. To find one of our public health clinics near you, call the Tarrant County Public Health Call Center at 817-248-6299.
September 11, 2023
Summer's fading, schools in session and we're preparing for what's next
As I write this, we are just about out of what may have been one of the most brutally hot summers to hit north Texas since I've lived here.
Our most recent heat-related illness and deaths report showed that heat exhaustion accounted for almost half of the heat-related illness cases we've seen this summer, mostly among men and adults ages 25-44. Sadly, there have been 12 heat-related deaths in the county so far, 10 of which were in the 65+ years age group. These HRID reports include more detail, as well as ways people can prevent heat-related illness, and I encourage all to review them.
August 21, 2023
Rolling through August
In a blink of an eye, summer is winding down, school has started, and the back-to-school vaccine events are busy once more. Tarrant County Public Health and the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County’s annual Back-to-School Immunization are excited to bring vaccines into the community to get kids ready for classes.
July 10, 2023
Midsummer in North Texas
Sometimes I wish public health could do something about these unbearable high temperatures other than advise and warn about potential heat injuries.
About the only positive thing we can say about the heat is that it helps keep most people inside and away from biting mosquitoes. The number of positive West Nile Virus mosquito pools is growing, as is typical during summer months. You can track where we're finding those pools on our interactive Tarrant County map. If the mosquitoes are getting too bad in your area, contact your municipality's code enforcement office. If you live in an unincorporated area of Tarrant County, and we find positive mosquito pools there, we will give at least a 24 hour notice before we do any ground spraying.
June 15, 2023
Summertime in Tarrant County
It's finally summer. Having lived here for a few years, I've learned Texas summers can be brutal.
Perhaps the toughest part of summer are those inescapable high temperatures. According to recent Heat-Related Illness and Deaths reports, heat exhaustion and sunburn were the most observed heat-related illness categories the last full week of May, with the highest percentage of those cases among males, and adults ages 25-44. The June 10 report also stated that there have been 13 Ozone Action Days, when ozone in the local air reached an unhealthy level for sensitive groups.
Read more of this June 15 entry
May 11, 2023
COVID-19, no longer a public health emergency
On Friday, May 5th of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern. And as of today, May 11, the U.S. Declaration of Public Health Emergency regarding COVID-19 is being lifted.
No one is more relieved than we are at Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) that COVID-19 is no longer a major concern. It isn't gone completely, and there is still a need for people to stay vigilant for it and get vaccinated and boosted. But let’s hope it will be a long time before we encounter another world-wide public health emergency.
Read more of this May 11 entry
April 3, 2023
The first full week of April is National Public Health Week
This occasion gives us the opportunity to highlight various achievements of public health nationwide, as well as locally.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a watershed event for our time. Responding to the pandemic has demanded some changes for public health. Not only did it spur some renovation with vaccine development, it also required that we find unconventional ways to provide vaccines to people isolated by the pandemic. Our staff rose to the challenge. It spawned the VaxMobile, our joint venture with Trinity Metro to get needed COVID-19 vaccines out to the community. We also developed the means to safely provide services like WIC to needy clients, and put into place new virtual programs that are providing vital health education.
February 23, 2023
Things are looking up for Tarrant County
It’s hard to believe, but we are already more than halfway through February 2023. We are seeing a downward trend in both COVID-19 and Flu cases. After the COVID-19 Community Level needle briefly (a few weeks) rose to HIGH this winter, we are now back at LOW. When looking back, this is even more astounding and a huge triumph for all of us when you look at the difference a year makes. In January 2022, we were seeing 2,027 COVID cases per 100,000 residents while this January that number dropped to only 93 cases per 100,000 residents. Certainly, the efforts of our public health staff and our community cannot go unnoticed. I am confident that these results reflect the work everyone has put into getting vaccinations out to as many folks in our community as possible and educating people on the prevention of COVID-19.
July 25, 2022
COVID-19, Monkeypox and HEAT
We are seeing COVID-19 cases increasing locally. Tarrant County has moved from low spread to high. We've also notice Omicron variants BA4 and BA5 in our area and are keeping an eye on them. It is possible to get COVID-19 more than once. For those who had their COVID-19 shots earlier, those vaccines were not a match for these current variants, so you may want to get another booster.
There are still COVID-19 hot spots in the country, so we're asking people who may be travelling...
April 20, 2022
Springtime in North Texas
I'm happy to report that COVID-19 related deaths in Tarrant County are on the decline. On Tuesday, April 12, there were no COVID-19 deaths in Tarrant County. We haven't had a day like that since December 6 of last year. COVID-19 disease activity is at a low in Tarrant County. It is time to get out and enjoy our nice spring weather. We certainly hope this trend continues.
Sadly, we can't say the pandemic has ended...
December 1, 2021
The COVID saga continues!
Over the Thanksgiving weekend you may have heard that a new variant of COVID was identified in South Africa. Several nations, including the U.S., moved quickly to curb travel to several countries where this variant was already identified. However, and as expected, by the time we found out, the virus had already travelled. The CDC just confirmed today it’s first “known” case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
August 6, 2021
The resurgence of COVID-19
When I last posted, I had hoped that COVID-19 cases would continue to drop.
Sadly, we're seeing a resurgence of COVID-19, specifically the Delta variant, which is a mutated form of COVID-19. It is more aggressive and contagious.
All of our indicators are going up. The "curve" is rising again. Our local hospitals have ICUs filled with patients --many of whom were not vaccinated for COVID-19.
Read more of this August 6, 2021 entry
June 8, 2021
The fight against COVID-19 is being won
I am happy to say we have finally reached a point where COVID-19 vaccines have become plentiful enough for just about everyone 12 years and older to get vaccinated. Mobile options are now available. Our vaccination efforts, along with the other COVID-19 mitigation measures, have finally slowed the spread. Those mitigation measures may have even kept the annual flu season at bay.
People can now easily select an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination...
September 17, 2020
Some good news and some caution!
The good news is that West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pools have recently dropped significantly. We were previously concerned with the rising numbers of positives we were finding, which was why we were considering aerial spraying.
But that's not the case right now --unless positive pools start coming back strong.
March 28, 2020
COVID-19 answers to some questions
Folks, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve quickly and we know the uncertainty of this situation is worrisome. So I want to offer a bit of reassurance.
First, not every disease going around right now is COVID-19!
January 7, 2020
Resolve to work on good health habits
I always like to take this time of year to not only wish people a Happy New Year, but to encourage everyone to include improving one's health as a resolution, if you do resolutions.
But even if you don't, it's always wise to work on good health habits.
October 8, 2019
Flu season is here
Even though it's seasonal, influenza (the flu) is one of the toughest diseases to predict. A nice summer and a warm fall tend to lull people into believing the flu is no big deal. But it is! Flu kills several thousand people across US every year and it is preventable.
September is National Preparedness Month
Tarrant County Prepares
During this month, we typically remind ourselves and others to prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters, and to have our home preparedness plans ready. However, a select few of us in public health are always preparing for the next big disease outbreak...
May 13, 2019
Measles and Mosquitoes
No doubt you've heard news of measles cases springing up locally and nationally. Did you know that year-round transmission of measles was declared eliminated in the United States back in 2000? And yet, these cases have appeared. Regardless of where they came from, we now know a major factor they have in common is that they happened AMONG THE UNVACCINATED.
AND DID YOU KNOW: vaccines by themselves do not kill diseases.
April 2, 2019
April happenings and free testing!
April is here and I'm sure we're all looking forward to enjoying some CONSISTENT spring weather!
April also has a quite a few health observances. Our award-winning Teen Videofest project is celebrating its 20th anniversary and will showcase this year's video winners on April 12.
January 16, 2019
Resolve to stay healthy
It's never too late to start, learn, reestablish and maintain good health habits. If you've made the resolution to improve your health this year, you're off to a good start. And Tarrant County Public Health can help you along the way!
Want to eat healthier? We can help!
Trying to quit smoking? We can help there too.
Don't want to catch the flu? We're right there with you.
December 19, 2018
They're not just blowing smoke.
The U.S. Surgeon General just released an advisory regarding E-cigarette use among youth. In it he said, "The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation's young people. KNOW THE RISKS. TAKE ACTION. PROTECT OUR KIDS."
December 5, 2018
Flu and the weather sometimes go together
This week happens to be National Influenza Vaccination Week. Although the influenza virus doesn't take a holiday and is a year-round concern, the winter months and cold weather tend to keep us inside more, which makes it easier to catch a cold -- or the flu.
So how can you tell the difference?
November 12, 2018
Babies, turkeys and the flu
One measure of health for any society is how many of its children survive their first year of life.
Children born before 37 weeks of pregnancy (premature birth), and complications resulting from such early births are the number one cause of "infant mortality" in the United States and the second cause in Tarrant County.
In Texas, Tarrant County has been leading in the numbers of infant deaths --until recently. We've been doing something about that, and thankfully we're seeing positive progress.
October 4, 2018
Heat wanes as the flu looms
We're grateful the summer heat has waned but this means that flu season, typically running from October through March, is now upon us. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's early estimates indicate that more than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died from flu during the 2017-2018 flu season.
July 31, 2018
Back-to-school immunizations now being offered
Beat the back-to-school frenzy and get your kids vaccinated in the coming weeks. Tarrant County Public Health, along with our partners at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County, are offering low cost back-to-school immunizations starting this week through the end of August. Printable schedules of these events are available in both English and Spanish.
May 31, 2018
It's not even summer yet!
After living in north Texas for a few years now, I've noticed the heat often gets here before summer becomes official.
So for other recent arrivals, and as a reminder to those who've lived here awhile, keep alert and aware of the effects heat can have on anyone --especially children or pets-- left inside a hot car. Take precautions, set reminders, do what you must to ensure their safety. They're worth your efforts.
April 3, 2018
It's National Public Health Week!
Changing our health for the better means ensuring conditions where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. We all have a role to play and it begins with using our TCPH expertise to educate our own staff and our community.
Read more of the April 3 entry
January 26, 2018
Flu season and emergency alarms
The start of this new year finds Tarrant County in the midst of a rampant flu season. Public Health refers to such conditions as widespread influenza --and it may not have even peaked yet.
Read more of the January 26 entry [outdated link]
October 10, 2017
Flu is out there.
Many of you may not know Tarrant County Public Health maintains year-round influenza surveillance. But with flu season upon us, these next few months are the ones to watch...
Read more of the October 10 entry [outdated link]
September 13, 2017
September is National Preparedness Month.
When you live in a state like Texas -- which experiences flash flooding, tornadoes and the occasional hurricane -- it behooves all of us to have some measures in place to protect ourselves, our families and our businesses.
Read more of the September 13 entry [outdated link]
June 16, 2017
Summer heat, back-to-school shots, mosquitoes
As more hot summer weather comes our way, I'd like to remind everyone to always stay aware of the effect heat can have on children --or any pet-- left inside a hot car. Take whatever precautions you must or set any reminders you need in order to ensure their safety. I promise you won't regret it.
Read more of the June 16 entry [outdated link]
March 14, 2017
Millennials and Cancer Risk
I was surprised to learn from about a recent study that shows millennials (individuals born from 1980 - 1995) are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer.
The study, found in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute*, warns the data should be a sign that this generation faces an epidemic of digestive diseases - and suggests we begin screening people in their early 20s, rather than in their 60s.
read more of the March 14 entry [outdated link]
January 11, 2017 [outdated link]
All of us deserve a fair chance at a healthy, long and fruitful life.
Health Equity simply means attainment of the highest levels of health for all. It is easier said than done. What is surprising to many is that the social, environmental and economic conditions around us determine and impact our health more than we can imagine!
read more of the Jan. 11 entry [outdated link]
January 6, 2017 [outdated link]
We are now moving toward the time of the year when the flu season starts to peak. According to our surveillance efforts, there are a lot of flu-like illnesses going around.
read more of the Jan. 6 entry [outdated link]
December 22, 2016 [outdated link]
With the cold weather, the ongoing flu season and an unexpected mumps outbreak in North Texas, there are plenty of health issues to stay aware of this holiday season.
read more of the December 22 entry [outdated link]
November 18, 2016
Is there a record for the number of times someone can say the word DEET in a year? If so, the record keeper should have spent the past seven months by my side.
read more of the November 18 entry [outdated link]
September 13, 2016
Flu season lurks right around the corner. Cook Children’s diagnosed their first flu case this week -- the earliest diagnosis they have seen in three years.
read more of the September 13 entry [outdated link]
July 27, 2016
As relatively new residents of North Texas, my family and I are learning to adjust to the summertime heat. I also have two small children, so whenever I hear of any child left in a car on a hot day, my heart breaks.
read more of the July 27 entry [outdated link]
March 8, 2016
As of today, March 8, there have been two additional cases of Zika Virus reported in Tarrant County, making a total of three human cases in the county so far.
read more of the March 8 entry [outdated link]
February 12, 2016
I am sure by now most of you have heard about the Zika Virus.
This is a mosquito-borne illness that is carried by Aedes mosquitoes, which unfortunately, are common to the North Texas area.
read more of the February 12 entry [outdated link]
September 29, 2015
It was hard not to notice all the flu shot advertising that popped up across our county in August and the media messaging that followed the next month...
read more of the September 29 entry [outdated link]
August 20, 2015
Getting back into the swing of the school season is no easy task for any parent, let alone their children. A summer of late bedtimes and alarm clock-less mornings are quickly replaced by...
read more of the August 20 entry [outdated link]
April 24, 2015
This morning, I had the opportunity to talk with the members of Mid-Cities Pace Setters Rotary Club...
read more of the April 24 entry [outdated link]
April 7, 2015
National Public Health Week started off Monday with President Obama issuing a proclamation recognizing the value public health workers deliver to our country every day...
read more of the April 7 entry [outdated link]
Jan. 27, 2015
Dear Tarrant County Residents,
You may have heard in recent media reports that a person with Measles traveled back from India into Tarrant County on January 6.
The person traveled by plane and later had contact with family members, as well as people in the community during a visit to the doctor’s office.
From this situation, TCPH staff interviewed several potential contacts from the plane, the person’s family and community.
read more of the Jan. 27 entry [outdated link]
Nov. 6, 2014
Dear Tarrant County Residents
I am writing to inform you of some good news.
All of the “Contacts” from the Dallas Ebola “Cases” that we monitored in Tarrant County, have finished their 21-day monitoring period successfully.
read more of the Nov. 6 entry [outdated link]
Oct. 24, 2014
Dear Tarrant County Residents
As you may have heard today, Nina Pham, the Texas Health Presbyterian nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola, has been declared Ebola free. She is being released from National Institutes of Health (NIH) today and expected to return to the Dallas - Fort Worth area later this evening.
read more of the Oct. 24 entry [outdated link]