Infectious Diseases

Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 05/29/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Thursday afternoon, 59,776 cases and 1,601 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.


CDC to Host Coronavirus Webinar Friday - 01/30/2020

If you are interested in learning more about the new coronavirus outbreak that began in China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a webinar on Friday for physicians and other health care professionals.


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.


Urge Patients to Use Common Virus Prevention as Coronavirus Investigation Continues - 01/24/2020

Texas physicians should recommend patients take the usual precautions to avoid viruses as health officials investigate a novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China.


West Nile Cases Rising in Texas; One Death Confirmed - 10/29/2019

State health officials have confirmed 19 cases of West Nile illness in Texas this year, including one death. Most of the confirmed cases have been identified in El Paso with 13, according to data from the Department of State Health Services. Other cases have been confirmed in Brazoria, Floyd, Hale, Harris, Nolan, and Tarrant counties.


State Health Advisory: New Syphilis Testing Requirements During Pregnancy In Effect - 10/04/2019

As of Sept. 1, Texas physicians are required to test pregnant women for syphilis three times: at the first prenatal visit, during the third trimester (no sooner than the 28th week), and at delivery. Previously, state law required testing at the first visit and during the third trimester.


Disease Reporting in Texas: What You Need to Do - 08/23/2019

You’re most likely aware that you are required to report certain health conditions, diseases, and outbreaks – known as “reportable” or “notifiable” conditions. This helps local, state, and federal health officials to track and study those conditions. But you might not be aware of all of the conditions you are required to report, or how, when, and to whom.


Measles: Updated Information and Resources Available to Fight Rising Cases - 08/16/2019

As measles cases continue to rise in Texas and across the U.S., the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association have created a document to help physicians and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious respiratory illness. The document provides the latest recommendations for diagnosing and reporting measles, immunizations, infection prevention and control, and post-exposure prophylaxis and exclusion.


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: 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.


West Nile, Chikungunya, Dengue Reported In Texas - 06/06/2019

Summer hasn’t started yet – that happens June 21 – but several cases of vector-borne diseases have been identified in Texas. Four cases each of chikungunya and dengue have been reported in Dallas, Fort Bend, Harris, Lubbock, Tarrant, and Travis counties, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said this week.


2018 Be Wise – Immunize Local Impact Grant Recipients - 05/03/2019

These Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact Grants were approved in 2018


Syringe Service Programs Stop Spread of Disease - 04/03/2019

We hope you will move to quickly approve HB 1722, and we offer our assistance with your work. HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can be spread through injection drug use regardless of where you live. We must get this effort right to reduce the spread of diseases and to target more of those who use injection drugs so they can obtain the treatment and support needed to address their addiction.


Fighting Antibiotic Resistance and Infectious Disease in Long-Term Care Facilities - 03/11/2019

TMA supports House Bill 1848 with hopes that this bill can help prevent last year’s influenza season and countless infectious disease deaths from happening again by lessening the spread and severity of an outbreak.


Talk To Your Patients About: Mumps - 03/11/2019

The March issue of Texas Medicine highlights mumps, which spreads easily through sneezing and coughing, or just touching infected surfaces. A vaccine, first introduced in 1967, reduced U.S. cases by 99 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Meet Texas’ Critical Public Health Needs - 02/13/2019

Investing in our people’s health through the DSHS now will avoid higher costs in the future. TMA recognizes the importance of a strong public health infrastructure and is ready to work with this committee towards continuing to improve the health of all Texans.


Talk to Patients About: Measles - 02/04/2019

Few Americans today remember when measles was deadly. But before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, the disease killed about 2.6 million globally each year. By 2016, vaccination programs cut that number to about 89,000.


Multiple Mumps Cases Reported in Immigrant Detention Centers Across Texas - 01/29/2019

Texas physicians should be on the lookout for mumps as health officials investigate multiple cases of the infectious disease in immigration centers throughout the state.