Category: Infections

A doctor gives a shot to a smiling patient at the hospital

Roll up a sleeve. It’s your turn

Categories: Infections  /  News

You’re a good mom or dad. You take the time to be familiar with the schedule of recommended childhood vaccinations, and make sure your kids are up-to-date. And if it slips your mind, there’s usually a reminder waiting when the new school year begins. But what about you? Are YOU up-to-date with your vaccines? Adults need vaccines too — whether it’s a booster dose of tetanus and diphtheria, an annual flu shot or something travel-related. The list for grown-ups isn’t complicated, but it’s something that too many busy people ignore. Take this quiz and learn what you need to know …Read More >

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Up close view of a mosquito biting a man's finger

With mosquitoes buzzing again, it’s time to reach for the repellent

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News  /  Pregnancy

You may have noticed the buzz. Mosquito season is back in full swing, and with it the concerns about the threat of Zika infection. Bexar County has recorded one confirmed case of Zika in 2017, adding to the 20 cases it reported last year. All the cases so far are thought to be travel-related, with patients infected in places where the infection is circulating. Unfortunately, one of those places is the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which joined Florida last year as the two U.S. regions with local Zika transmission. Last month, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued new …Read More >

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A young woman holds her face and looks up in sadness

The mumps return

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

Quite a few students returned from spring break with more than sunburns this year. A cluster of 13 mumps cases have been traced to people who traveled to South Padre Island from six different states between March 8 and March 22. And state health officials have alerted doctors to be on the lookout for more. The Texas Department of State Health Services issued an alert Wednesday, saying Texas is experiencing a 20-year high in mumps cases. Beyond South Padre, a number of outbreaks have been reported throughout the state. Texas has seen a total of 221 mumps cases so far …Read More >

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The word antibiotics is typed on a piece of paper surrounded by pills, medicine, and a syringe

Antibiotics 101

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

If you find yourself admitted to a hospital anytime soon, you might find your treatment plan includes a little schooling on the proper use of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance has become a serious problem in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary. And that misuse can lead to drug-resistant infections. “It happens because it’s easier to give antibiotics than it is to tell someone who took time off work — or brought in their sick kid — that you’re not going to give then an antibiotic, …Read More >

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A tired and messy old man puts his head in his hand with disappointment

Flu season becoming intense in Bexar County

Categories: Flu  /  Infections  /  News

This year’s flu season seems to be reaching its miserable peak after rising in intensity in recent weeks. University Health System’s lab this week reported 128 cases of A-type influenza strains and another 13 cases of a B-strain flu during the week ending Feb. 11.  That represented a 62 percent increase in A-type flu cases in one week. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on Tuesday reported a similar rise at testing sites throughout the county. In an interview with KENS TV last week, Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio and staff epidemiologist at …Read More >

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A pregnant woman sits on the floor and stares lovingly at a sonogram picture

Advice on Zika protection for moms-to-be

Categories: Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News  /  Pregnancy

The well-publicized risks of Zika infection in pregnancy have been scary. Even scarier is the speed at which the infection has spread across geographic borders, and the fact that the mosquitoes doing the spreading — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus — are found in in South Texas. For pregnant women worried about which insect repellent will protect them safely, Dr. Patrick Ramsey, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Medicine San Antonio who practices at University Health System, offers some advice: Stay indoors, get rid of standing water on your property and cover up by wearing light-colored, long-sleeve shirts and long …Read More >

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Up close view of mosquito sucking blood from a hand

Staying safe when mosquitoes are biting

Categories: Infections  /  News

While concerns about the Zika virus have been in the headlines of late, Texas health officials reported the state’s first West Nile case of the year late last week, signaling the fact that disease-causing mosquitoes are out there — and a bit earlier than usual. “A couple of factors put us at higher risk,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, staff epidemiologist at University Health System and an infectious disease specialist with UT Medicine. “One is the milder winter. A typical winter kills off most of the existing mosquito population from the prior year, but when it’s milder some of them can …Read More >

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A doctor gives a child in a pink shirt a vaccination

Taking aim at a preventable cancer

Categories: Cancer  /  Children's Health  /  Infections  /  News

Texas vaccination rates among adolescents against the human papilloma virus are lower than the national average, and vaccination rates in Bexar County are lower than the state average, experts said at a conference held by the Texas Pediatric Society at University Health System’s Robert B. Green Campus. “HPV vaccine is about preventing cancer,” said Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, a pediatrician with Community Medicine Associates, the physician practice of University Health System. “Vaccines are one of the most important things I can do as a pediatrician to keep kids safe and healthy. Any chance that I have to prevent cancer, I …Read More >

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A female doctor gives a pregnant woman a sonogram as she lies on a table

As Zika virus spreads, so do concerns

Categories: Infections  /  News  /  Pregnancy

While doctors have been aware of the Zika virus since the 1940s, for many years it was considered a mild infection. The recent link that has emerged in Brazil between the disease and an increase in a birth defect called microcephaly has people – particularly expectant mothers – worried about its spread. “There’s no major panic at this point,” said Dr. Patrick Ramsey, a maternal/fetal medicine specialist and clinical professor at the UT Health Science Center. “We’re dealing with a lot of unknowns. In the coming months we will learn a lot more about the virus and the real risks.” …Read More >

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A close up of a test tube tray containing a number of purple-tipped vacutainer tubes, with green tubes in the background

Finding hepatitis C

Categories: Cancer  /  Infections  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery  /  Transplants

All Baby Boomers should be screened for hepatitis C, according to federal recommendations. That’s because an estimated three-quarters of infections are in people born between 1945 and 1965, and most patients don’t know they’re infected. So far, most of that screening has taken place in clinics and doctors’ offices. But a newly published pilot study at University Hospital found that screening hospital patients for hepatitis C can catch many infections that outpatient testing misses. “We tested about 95 percent of the people who’d never been screened before,” said Dr. Barbara Turner, an internal medicine physician and professor of medicine at …Read More >

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