Infectious Diseases

Texas No. 1 in Congenital Syphilis Cases: How All Docs Can Help - 05/11/2022

With Texas leading the nation in the number of congenital syphilis cases, a Texas Medical Association collaboration on new resources aims to help all physicians understand the growing public health threat and tackle it head on through improved diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Texas Physician COVID Profiles - 05/10/2022

Read about the experiences of some Texas physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Recruiting Docs to Give COVID Preexposure Drug Evusheld - 04/05/2022

State health officials want to spread the word about Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody treatment that helps prevent COVID-19 infection among immunocompromised patients at high risk of progression to severe cases, including hospitalization and death.

Emergency Doc Finds Building Patient Trust More Difficult During COVID - 04/05/2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic languishes into its third year, physicians continue to bear the brunt of its impact, from unpredictable surges to worsening burnout. Craig Meek, MD, an emergency medicine physician in East Texas and president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, has observed another more profound effect, which he suspects is changing the profession in irrevocable ways.

DSHS Taking Preorders of Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Kids as Young as 6 Months - 04/05/2022

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is requesting that COVID-19 vaccine administrators preorder Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years while it awaits emergency use authorization from the federal government.

NIHCM Collects Data Showing Impact of COVID Boosters - 04/05/2022

Highlighting the effectiveness of COVID-19 booster shots – including their overwhelming effectiveness at preventing hospitalization and death – the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation has collected a slew of COVID-related data from other sources in its February newsletter, Cutting Through COVID-19 Confusion.

CDC OK’s Moderna Adult COVID Vaccine - 04/05/2022

Moderna’s adult COVID-19 vaccine has now earned full approval following recommendation’s from both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) immunization panel.

FDA Halts Use of Two Antibody Treatments to Fight COVID - 04/05/2022

The Food and Drug Administration deauthorized the use of two monoclonal antibody treatments to fight COVID-19 due to observed ineffectiveness against the omicron variant, which is now estimated to make up more than 99% of all U.S. cases.

Update: Deadline Extended to Apply to State Antimicrobial Committees - 04/05/2022

Physicians all over Texas can apply for the chance to help stop the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms as part of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Regional Advisory Committee for one of Texas’ public health regions. Get details.

Shareable Graphic: The Right Mask to Wear - 04/05/2022

With reputable masking guidance shifting with the science, and with misinformation plaguing public health efforts, it’s likely your patients have expressed confusion on masks. Here to help clear up some of the current confusion is a shareable graphic from the Public Health Communications Collaborative.

COVID to Take Center Stage at Winter Conference - 04/05/2022

With COVID-19 dominating physicians’ lives, the General Session of TMA's 2022 Winter Conference is the place you and your colleagues can get the latest on the COVID surge from Texas’ top public health care experts. Check out the schedule.

Expect a More Serious Flu Season – and Test Accordingly, DSHS Says - 04/05/2022

In 2021, precautions that people took against COVID-19 – like masking and social distancing – helped create an unusually light flu season, says Jennifer Shuford, MD, chief state epidemiologist at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). In 2022, Texas probably will not be as lucky.

Insurance Coverage for At-Home COVID Tests Begins Saturday - 04/05/2022

The Biden-Harris administration is requiring insurers and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests beginning this Saturday, Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.

Effective COVID Therapies Still in Short Supply in Texas - 04/05/2022

Slowly but surely, medicine is learning which COVID-19 therapeutics work best in general, which are effective against the now-dominant omicron variant, and which ones appear no match for omicron. Unfortunately, “slow” also describes the supply movement of the most effective drugs.

TMA Chart Compares COVID Therapeutics - 04/05/2022

To help you compare the National Institutes of Health’s recommended COVID-19 outpatient therapies, TMA has created a chart with information on each of the four recommended drugs in the NIH’s listed preference order.

Talk to Patients About: COVID-19 Variants - 03/31/2022

Alpha. Delta. Epsilon. Omicron. These and other variants of COVID-19 have made their way through the U.S. and Texas. Help patients understand what variants are and why they're important.

Texas Physicians Reflect on Two Years of Battling COVID-19 - 03/17/2022

Two years ago this week, normal life in Texas stopped. Uncertainty, fear, and anxiety loomed as the new coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, arrived in Texas. Looking back, physicians reflect on the ongoing impact of March 13, 2020, when Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

Omicron Variant Underscores Importance of Proven Tools to Fight COVID - 03/10/2022

The recently discovered omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has sparked fears about increased infectivity and transmissibility heading into the holiday season. But Texas Medical Association experts and public health officials say physicians and patients can lean into proven prevention strategies – including vaccination, masking, social distancing, improved ventilation, testing, and handwashing – as scientists continue to study the new threat.

State Encourages CDC Infection Control Training for Frontline Workers - 11/24/2021

With infection control now occupying center stage in health care, state health officials are promoting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Project Firstline training videos on infection prevention, hoping the trainings reach all of Texas’ frontline health care workers.

Ebola Treatment, Containment Facilities on Tap - 10/29/2021

In the wake of last week's announcement that a New York doctor who returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola, public health professionals and hospitals have remained vigilant in preparing to respond to potential future cases of the disease.

Survey: Health Officials Plan for Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution - 10/18/2021

As approval for a pediatric version of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is planning ahead for its distribution and needs your feedback by 5 pm CT this Wednesday, Oct. 20.

El Paso Finds a Recipe for Vaccination Success - 10/11/2021

While city and county health authorities all over Texas keep searching for a recipe to get more local residents vaccinated for COVID-19, El Paso – the city and the county – have found what Ogechika Alozie, MD, calls a “secret sauce.”

CDC: Watch for Measles, Other Diseases Among Evacuees From Afghanistan - 09/27/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that clinicians be on alert for several types of diseases – including measles and mumps – among evacuees who were part of the recent U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, including both Afghan nationals and U.S. citizens.

ACIP Flu Guidelines: Vaccinate Young Children as Soon as Possible - 09/21/2021

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.

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.