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Texas Losing Ground in Disease-Prevention Battle, Physicians Warn - 07/17/2019

Some Texas physicians say the anti-vaccination movement is creating skepticism that could undermine the state’s ability to prevent a widespread disease outbreak. The state has fended off outbreaks in the past because a majority of Texans are vaccinated, but soaring vaccine exemptions could leave Texans vulnerable.


Measles Update: 17 Cases in 12 Texas Counties in 2019 - 07/12/2019

Public health officials are investigating two reported cases of measles in El Paso, bringing the state's total to 17 cases since the beginning of 2019.


Hard Hats for Little Heads Event Ideas - 07/10/2019

Ideas for a Successful Event


Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccinations - 07/08/2019

All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes.


Talk to Patients About: Diphtheria - 07/08/2019

 Diphtheria infected more than 200,000 and killed 15,000 in the U.S. in 1920, but the growing use of vaccines during that decade caused rates to drop, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. In the 1940s, the diphtheria vaccine was combined with tetanus and pertussis, and the shot became routine for children. Between 2004 and 2017, only two U.S. cases were reported, CDC says.


Talk to Your Patients About: Meningococcal B - 07/08/2019

Texas Medicine recently highlighted Meningococcal B, a bacterial infection that can affect the blood, brain, and spinal cord with lasting effects like learning difficulties, hearing loss, or limb amputation. The Meningococcal B vaccine is relatively new, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014.


Retiring the R-Word: The Right Thing to Do - 07/03/2019

The AMA House of Delegates last month adopted policy that would put the first three phrases on the verboten list for physicians. Kudos to the delegates for recognizing that words, especially in the mouths and pens of powerful people like physicians, really do matter.


Time Is Running Out to Apply for a TMAF Grant - 07/03/2019

Helping your community to be healthier couldn’t be easier. Just apply for a Texas Medical Association Foundation grant that can help fund an immunization clinic, health fair, smoking cessation program, and more. To apply for a grant, submit a letter of intent by July 15, and a completed application by July 31. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions the week of Sept. 16.


Maternal Health Problems in Central Texas Underscore Statewide Crisis - 07/03/2019

Central Texas has significant maternal health challenges, including the highest rate of maternal death among black women, in part because of barriers to health care coverage and because resources are underused, according to a report by the nonprofit Texans Care for Children.


Talk to Patients About: Pneumococcal Disease - 07/02/2019

Your patients might not have heard of pneumococcal bacteria, but they probably know some of its serious conditions: Pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis, blood infections, and ear infections.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal Disease - 07/02/2019

Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal Disease


Health Care is Difficult to Afford, More Than Half of Texans Say - 07/02/2019

Health care is the toughest living expense for most Texans to afford, and many skip or postpone tests, medications, and basic procedures because of the cost. And that very well could be bad for their health, especially for the millions who lack insurance. Those are the findings of a statewide poll on the affordability of and access to health care in Texas published last month by the Episcopal Health Foundation.


Talk to Patients About: Varicella - 07/02/2019

The varicella-zoster virus  does double-duty: It can cause chickenpox when you’re young and reactivate later in life as a painful, blistery rash called shingles. Well, there’s a vaccine for each disease.


Talk to Patients About: Flu - 07/02/2019

Flu is serious, and the vaccine can prevent or minimize the illness.


Talk to Patients About: Whooping Cough - 07/02/2019

But pertussis has made a resurgence. Anti-vaccine sentiment and other factors allow pertussis to spread, especially in school children. But vaccination still remains the best protection.


Talk to Patients About: Rubella - 07/02/2019

The virus that causes rubella often appears deceptively mild — so mild in fact that one-quarter to half of people infected with it will have no symptoms at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccination is the best protection.


Talk to Patients About: Rotavirus - 07/02/2019

Rotavirus is a highly contagious viral infection that inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, and especially affects children 2 years old and younger. In the United States, the introduction of a vaccine in 2006 helped arrest rotavirus illnesses and deaths.


Talk to Patients About: Polio - 07/02/2019

Polio once terrified Americans. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the virus crippled around 35,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because polio often attacked abdominal muscles used to breathe, many died or permanently needed a respirator called an iron lung.


Talk to Patients About: Mumps - 07/02/2019

More than 2,000 U.S. mumps cases occurred in 2018. That’s down from 6,000-plus cases CDC reported in both 2016 and 2017, but a far cry from the hundreds reported in 2012. Texas is not immune. In 2018, mumps outbreaks occurred at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas State University in San Marcos, and a national cheerleading competition in Dallas. Mumps still spreads much faster and more dangerously among unvaccinated groups, and immunization remains the best protection.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 07/02/2019

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 07/02/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal B - 07/02/2019

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.


Talk to Patients About: Diphtheria - 07/02/2019

Most people know little about diphtheria today thanks to the effectiveness of its vaccine. But fear of this highly contagious bacterial infection – which chokes off patients’ ability to breathe –  was once so strong that it accidentally gave birth to a major sporting event: the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.


Defend Yourself From Diphtheria: Bacterial Infection Can Stop Breathing - 07/01/2019

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system and damages the heart, nerves, and kidneys. It can hinder or stop breathing, and causes fatigue, sore throat, fever, and swollen neck glands. The infection can be deadly without any medical treatment. Several immunizations are available to protect people against this disease.


Keeping Kids Safe in and Around the Water: New AAP Guidelines - 07/01/2019

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1-4 years of age, and is the second leading cause of death in children under 14. In the March 2019 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a revised policy statement on “Prevention of Drowning.”