As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expands its list of possible symptoms for COVID-19, health providers have been reporting  other problems in patients with the virus. A pulmonologist explores possible causes.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday declared that the new coronavirus is a statewide public health disaster while adding that Texas is on the verge of being able to significantly ramp up its testing capacity.

Elizabeth Myong

As 34-year-old Lang Nguyen stood in line to vote in Irving last week, he took a sip of water and began to choke. 

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

The Houston Rodeo will shut down for the first time in more than 80 years as the city and Harris County prepared to declare a health emergency over community spread of the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.

An ambulance worker adjusts her protective mask
Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

School districts and counties across North Texas are preparing in case the new coronavirus makes its way to the region.

There have been no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus illness COVID-19 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Officials have announced nine deaths from the illness in Washington state, and New York and New Hampshire each announced a new diagnosed case. The virus is believed to have spread undetected in Washington state for many weeks. 

Two joggers run through Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Associated Press

Life expectancy in the United States is up for the first time in four years.

The increase is small — just a month — but marks at least a temporary halt to a downward trend. The rise is due to lower death rates for cancer and drug overdoses.

Health Officials Unveil Strategy To Combat Novel Coronavirus In The U.S.

Jan 29, 2020
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks at a news conference about the U.S. government's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Associated Press

Top U.S. health officials laid out plans Tuesday to develop better screening tests, medications and a potential vaccine to combat novel coronavirus, a flu-like illness that spread from China to more than a dozen countries around the world.

CDC Confirms Second U.S. Case Of Novel Coronavirus In Chicago

Jan 24, 2020
An employee sprays disinfectant on a train as a precaution against a new coronavirus at Suseo Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday.
Associated Press

Physicians have diagnosed a second person in the U.S. with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, federal health authorities said Friday.

chocolate chip cookie dough

Forget about licking the batter on the spoon or sampling raw cookie dough. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say you risk the chance of illness if you do.

The death toll in the vaping illness outbreak has topped 50, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
Associated Press

The death toll in the vaping illness outbreak has topped 50, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

The 52 deaths in 26 states are among the 2,409 hospitalized cases that have been reported across the nation this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.


The CDC says only 35% of pregnant women in 2018 received vaccines against flu and whooping cough —putting them and their infants at risk of severe illness. 

Associated Press

This week, Health officials said they have more evidence that a certain chemical compound is a culprit in a national outbreak of vaping illnesses.

This 1971 microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea.
CDC / Associated Press

Drug-resistant “superbug” infections have been called a developing nightmare that could set medicine back a century, making conquered germs once again untreatable.

So there’s some surprising news in a federal report released Wednesday: U.S. superbug deaths appear to be going down.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries that has led to the deaths of 39 people and sickened more than 2,000 others.

Investigators announced Friday that they have detected a chemical compound called vitamin E acetate in all the samples of lung fluid collected from 29 patients who were hospitalized after vaping, suggesting a possible culprit for the spate of lung injuries that has swept across the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intensified its warnings about the risks of vaping, as the number of patients with vaping-related illness continues to climb.

The case count has reached 1,080, the agency announced Thursday. There have been 18 deaths in 15 states, and more deaths are being investigated. All patients reported a history of vaping, and the majority reported using THC-containing products.

A third person has died from a severe form of lung disease tied to the use of an electronic vaping device, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Friday, saying “people should consider not using e-cigarette products” while it investigates a soaring number of illnesses.

Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades.

The U.S. birthrate fell again in 2018, to 3,788,235 births — representing a 2% drop from 2017. It's the lowest number of births in 32 years, according to a new federal report. The numbers also sank the U.S. fertility rate to a record low.

Not since 1986 has the U.S. seen so few babies born. And it's an ongoing slump: 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of birth declines, according to the provisional birthrate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 200 people were injured because of rentable scooters between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department.

During that time, there were about 940,000 rides taken in Austin overall, according to the Austin Transportation Department. That results in a ratio of 20 injuries per 100,000 rides.


Concerns about e-cigarettes usually center on youth. But a CDC report using data from Texas and Oklahoma suggests it’s a problem to watch among pregnant women.

Texas has reported the most cases nationwide of a mysterious polio-like illness in 2018.

The Department of State Health Services said there were 27 cases of acute flaccid myelitis throughout the state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Ohio had the next highest number of cases with 12.


A flu shot's important for people in general, but it's more important for people with weakened immune systems. That includes women who are pregnant.


Health officials across the country are monitoring the latest outbreak of Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM — including about a half-dozen reported cases in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Parker counties as of Oct. 18.

Government health agencies have spent more than two decades shying away from gun violence research, but some say the new spending bill, signed by President Trump on Friday, will change that.

That is because, in agency instructions that accompany the bill, there is a sentence noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resigned Wednesday following reports that she bought shares in a tobacco company, among other financial dealings that presented a conflict of interest.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

Trump Administration officials at the Department of Health and Human Services are pushing back on a report saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a mandate to no longer use words and phrases including "fetus," "transgender" and "science-based."


After a downturn in 2015, a rare disease affecting the nervous system is on the rise again. The CDC says 89 cases of acute flaccid myelitis has been confirmed this year in 33 states, including Texas. Five of those were in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.