Infectious Diseases

Talk to Patients About: Monkeypox - 08/05/2022

Monkeypox cases, rarely seen outside of countries in Africa, are rising rapidly, including in Texas, where 485 cases had been reported as of Aug. 2. As a result, physicians may be fielding questions from concerned patients.

UPDATE: Monkeypox Warrants Vigilance Amid National, Global Health Emergency - 08/05/2022

Physicians and other health care professionals should be vigilant to the possibility of monkeypox in patients after the Biden administration declared the outbreak a national public health emergency.

Getting Another Shot: Physicians Combat Post-COVID Vaccine Hesitancy - 07/29/2022

Thousands of Texas children are getting back-to-school vaccinations before starting the new academic year. As they do, Texas physicians see evidence that skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines has turned into skepticism about all types of vaccines, infecting once-healthy public perceptions about childhood immunizations.

Monkeypox Wave Intensifies; Get Educated With TMA Fact Sheet - 06/24/2022

The monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. is now the worst documented wave of the disease in the nation’s history, surpassing the previous one in 2003. As cases of this rarely seen disease climb, the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Infectious Diseases has put together a four-page fact sheet, Monkeypox: What Physicians Need to Know, to help educate physicians.

State Webinar: COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5 - 06/17/2022

The Texas Department of State Health Services is holding its latest Texas Vaccine Provider Webinar, focusing on the launch of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, today from noon to 1:30 pm CT.

Monkeypox Cases Resurface; CDC Urges Vigilance - 06/09/2022

With cases of monkeypox recently reported in several countries that don’t normally have that virus – including at least one confirmed case in the U.S. – federal health authorities are advising physicians to be on the lookout for the characteristic rash usually associated with monkeypox.

Early RSV Spread Prompts State to Make Synagis More Available - 06/07/2022

High-risk children enrolled in Medicaid and two children’s health programs will be able to access the medication Synagis in the coming weeks to combat an earlier-than-expected resurgence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), state health authorities say.

CDC Issues New Recommendations on Possible Adenovirus-Hepatitis Cases - 05/25/2022

As cases of pediatric hepatitis climb across the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its previous health alert on the threat with more recommendations for clinicians.

CDC Probing Monkeypox Case in Dallas - 05/24/2022

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.

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.