Infectious Diseases

COVID-19 Surge Revives Need for Awareness on Monoclonal Antibody Treatments - 09/17/2021

With COVID-19 cases spiking again across Texas, public health officials are urging physicians to acquaint themselves with the criteria for patients who can receive monoclonal antibody therapy.


ACIP Flu Guidelines: Vaccinate Young Children as Soon as Possible - 09/14/2021

When it comes to preventing influenza, particularly in the middle of a pandemic, the key takeaway among this year’s recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) involves vaccines and timing, says Alan Howell, MD, an infectious disease specialist in Temple and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.


Vaccination Efforts Ramp Up as Pandemic Worsens - 08/17/2021

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging again across the state, Texas Medical Association leaders continue to reiterate that the most important step to getting the pandemic under control is getting people vaccinated.


CDC Probing Monkeypox Case in Dallas - 07/20/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a case of monkeypox in a person who was diagnosed with the virus after traveling from Nigeria to Dallas.


FDA Issues Guillain-Barré Warning on J&J COVID-19 Vaccine - 07/14/2021

The Food and Drug Administration has updated information about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to warn of increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. According to the new warning, reports of adverse events following use of the vaccine “suggest an increased risk” of the rare neurological disorder during the 42 days after vaccination.


OSHA Issues Temporary COVID-19 Regs For Health Care Settings - 06/30/2021

On June 21, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a temporary set of regulations – called an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) – for health care facilities taking care of COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Facilities required to comply need to meet most of the ETS regulations starting Tuesday, July 6.


Adolescents Can Receive COVID-19 Shots. Enroll With DSHS to Give Them - 06/15/2021

Adolescents are next in line to obtain COVID-19 vaccines. To prepare for this big step in combating the pandemic, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) encourages physicians and other health care professionals in Texas Vaccine for Children (TVFC) to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, the agency announced.


Get Paid for COVID-19 Vaccination Costs Not Covered by Insurance Under New HHS Program - 06/08/2021

Since physicians cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccine administration, a new federal program aims to fill in the gaps by covering the outstanding costs not covered by health insurance plans.


Physicians Can Now Order COVID-19 Vaccines in Any Lot Size They Need - 05/19/2021

Until recently, physicians looking to administer COVID-19 vaccines ran into a big roadblock: Many had to place orders so large their practices couldn’t use all the doses.


Interested in Running a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic? These TMA Resources Can Help - 05/12/2021

In response to a growing number of private physician practices receiving direct supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Outpatient Workgroup developed two resources with best practices for planning  and operating  a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.


Physicians Key to Improving Texas’ COVID-19 Vaccine Rates - 05/06/2021

Recent drops in COVID-19 vaccination rates have several causes, but taken together they signal that the effort to immunize Texans has entered a tough new phase – one that will rely more heavily than ever on physicians to distribute the vaccines, says David Lakey, MD, who is vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer at The University of Texas System.


More COVID-19 Vaccines Available For Your Practice: Order Now - 04/30/2021

Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine supplies are well stocked, and physician practices are likely to see more allocations as the state shifts its vaccination efforts from large, mass vaccination sites “to those where Texans routinely receive medical care,” the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced.


Routine Screen: Regular Testing Needed to End HIV Epidemic - 04/01/2021

Testing is one of the best ways to combat HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine testing for patients between the ages of 13 to 64. Yet, fewer than 40% of eligible people have ever had an HIV test, according to a 2019 CDC study.


COVID-19 Vaccines Info, March 22: Almost 1 Million Doses Coming to Texas - 03/29/2021

The latest COVID-19 vaccination information as of March 22, 2021.


Commentary: Health and Climate Connected - 09/02/2020

Human health is inextricably connected with the health of the environment. Our actions to reduce the threats of climate change and global warming are key to our well-being and survival.


Commentary: Follow the Evidence on Climate Impact - 09/02/2020

While the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress, these estimates are based on assumptions using models that have not been validated using real world, observational data.


Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 08/05/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Wednesday afternoon, 459,887 cases and 7,497 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.


The Temperature's Rising: Preparing for the Health Effects of Climate Change - 04/30/2020

In Texas, climate change has been blamed for contributing to the severity of several weather and health events, including the 2011 statewide drought, the 2012 outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and the steadily increasing prevalence of vector-borne diseases like Zika and chikungunya. Here are some of the most important climate-related health problems Texas physicians can expect according to climate scientists and the physician experts Texas Medicine spoke to.


CDC Call March 5: What You Need to Know to Prepare for COVID-19 - 03/04/2020

Find out how to identify, manage, and care for potential patients with COVID 19 by participating in on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call and webinar on Thurs.,


San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Rabies Alert - 03/03/2020

State health officials say people who visited the cattle barn at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Feb. 11-14 may need to be assessed for a possible rabies exposure.


Zika Update: Mosquito Repellent Covered Under State Health Programs - 02/20/2020

Mosquito repellant prescriptions are covered under Medicaid and other state programs, including the Healthy Texas Women Program. And although those programs require patients to have a prescription for mosquito repellant, patients don’t need to see a physician to get one.


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hepatitis C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 02/18/2020

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.


Medical Students Win TMA Foundation Grants to Help Texans - 02/03/2020

Texans in cities across the state will benefit from nearly $27,000 in Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) grant funding awarded to budding physicians for health-improvement projects.


Continue to Watch for Coronavirus, Health Officials Say - 02/03/2020

Although no cases of the new coronavirus that originated in China have been confirmed in Texas, physicians are urged to use precaution with patients who have a fever and/or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, U.S. health officials said Friday.


Coronavirus Fears Overshadowing Influenza Threat - 01/28/2020

Although the new coronavirus outbreak that began in China has grabbed headlines recently, physicians should remind their patients that influenza continues to be a major concern in Texas.