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Coronavirus Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

By Richard L. Oehler, MD

May 6th, 2020

With the help of the popular online web site Snopes.com, and a hint of inspiration from the “Mythbusters,” Dr Oehler reviews contemporary myths and online conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the SARS 2 Coronavirus. The author tackles such myths as whether government statistics about coronavirus deaths are accurate, predictions that the pandemic would occur in 2020, and whether coronavirus can be transmitted through packages, food, and pets. Dr. Oehler concludes by looking at one of the most enduring of COVID-19 questions. Did the virus originate in a bioweapons lab or in nature?

The Immune System: A Double Edged Sword

By Carlos Lopez-Perez, MD

April 27th, 2020

Dr. Perez-Lopez discusses the association of certain infectious diseases as a factor in the development of cancer. These so-called “oncogenic” microorganisms can induce both solid organ and bone-marrow-related malignancies through a variety of mechanisms. Among the oncogenic viruses, Epstein Barr Virus, Human Papilloma Virus, and the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses are well-known causes of cancer, causing EBV lymphoma, cervical cancer, and hepatocellular cancers, respectively. But bacterial infections can also induce malignancies, as Helicobacter pylori’s association with MALT lymphoma demonstrates. In addition, the speaker explains, as we understand the pathogenic mechanisms behind many bacterial agents (e.g., Pseudomonas), we are learning ways we can use their infectious potential as a treatment mechanism against certain medical conditions. Dr. Perez-Lopez closes his talk by discussing how the oncogenic potential of viruses is now an emerging weapon in our therapy against many diseases. By utilizing their ability to incorporate their genome into cells, certain viruses are a potent tool in gene therapy via genetic modification.

Opioids and Infectious Diseases: The Dual Epidemic

By Zola Nlandu, MD

April 20th, 2020

Dr. Nlandu focuses on the opioid epidemic, and the increasing prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in American society. He begins by looking at the epidemiology of the opioid epidemic, including how pharmaceutical manufacturer-centered initiatives to promote increased awareness of pain and misinformation about the addictive potential of opiates led to increased prescribing by providers. Over time, this led to misuse of opiate products and the declaration of a public health emergency by HHS in 2017. He then defines opiate use disorder and discusses how to identify patients at risk for the syndrome. Next, Dr. Nlandu relates how patients with OUD are at risk for the development of a variety of infectious diseases, including bacterial and viral disorders. He discusses opiates and HIV, Opiates and Hepatitis B and C, and opiates and bacteremia and endocarditis. Dr. Nlandu also touches upon the administration of outpatient antibiotic therapy in patients with IV drug use history. Lastly, Dr. Nlandu mentions needle exchange programs and the application for an MAT waiver to treat patients with opioid use disorder.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic

By Edward Drehs, MD

April 1st, 2020

Dr. Edward Drehs reviews the history of the 1918 Flu pandemic. He begins by discusses the events that led up to the outbreak, including World War I and other mass migration events. Then he relates the efforts instituted to try to contain the epidemic, similar to some of the control measures utilized today for Coronavirus. Next, he analyzes the consequences and lessons learned from the pandemic. Lastly, he evaluates the societal responses to the 1918 flu in comparison to the current outbreak.

COVID-19 Update

By John Greene, MD

March 18th, 2020

Dr. John Greene, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, summarizes what is known about the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). He looks at the diseases origins, its transmissibility, risk factors associated with severe disease, and its typical presentation. Dr. Greene also discusses how cancer treatment may be affected in the current pandemic. He closes by discussing diagnostic options, treatment, and the potential for a vaccine.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): A Pandemic Looms

By Seetha Lakshmi, MD

February 24th, 2020

Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, Associate Professor and Infectious Diseases Physician at the University of South Florida, presents an overview of this novel pathogen. Responsible for a December 2019 outbreak originating in China’s Hubei province, the virus has now been responsible for thousands of deaths and has spread to multiple countries outside of China with recent outbreaks in South Korea, Japan, and Iran, and Italy. Dr. Lakshmi begins her talk by describing the epidemiology of Coronaviruses, which can range from simple causes of the common cold to deadly infections like SARS. She then describes the pathophysiology of how the virus causes respiratory disease and the means by which it is spread. She discusses how misinformation can easily propagate about COVID-19 in our modern connected world. She closes by describing what the future likely holds for COVID-19 Coronavirus transmission in the West, the U.S, and states like Florida.

Milestones in Infectious Diseases

By Hareesh Singh, MD

February 21st, 2020

Dr. Singh highlights several areas of historical infectious diseases milestones in the categories of antibiotics, germ theory sanitation, oral hydration therapy, tissue culture, and vaccines. For antibiotics, he discusses the development of Penicillin; for germ theory, he relates the contributions of infection pioneers like Ernest Koch, Ignaz Semmelweis, and Joseph Lister. The invention of sanitation techniques did more to reduce public mortality from deadly diseases than perhaps any other advancement of the 19th and early twentieth centuries, and this is discussed. Lastly, Dr. Singh acknowledges the contributions of Louis Pasteur in modern virology and the development of vaccines. From a lecture recorded in February, 2020.

Urinary Tract Infections: Learning Through Three Cases

By Olga Klinkova, MD

February 5th, 2020

Dr. Olga Klinkova reviews the definitions and common facts regarding urinary tract infections. She differentiates between complicated and uncomplicated UTIs, upper and lower tract urinary tract infections, as well as the clinical features of pyelonephritis. She also discusses the management of MDRO-related urinary tract infections. The lecture is presented in a case-based format to help the learner improve their management skills through the discussion of typical patient-based scenarios.

Current Immunization Practice: The Role of Adult Vaccination

By John Toney, MD, FIDSA

January 27th, 2020

Dr. Toney presents an overview of adult vaccinations, focusing on the vaccines that are most important and relevant for the adult patient. He begins by discussing pneumococcal vaccines, whose guidelines can often be confusing because of the two different types of vaccines and their distinct administration schedules. He next talks about the influenza vaccine, differentiating the different types of vaccines, the efficacy of the flu shot, and potential future flu vaccine products. Next, he discusses the TDAP and the importance of receiving this vaccine given waning adult immunity for Pertussis. Dr. Toney also touches upon Shingles immunization and the significant advance of the recombinent shingles vaccine that is now available. Lastly, he discusses the MMR, Meningococcus, and Hepatitis vaccines.

Don’t Miss It: Ambulatory Care Infectious Diseases Emergencies

By John Toney, MD, FIDSA

January 15th, 2020

Dr. Toney, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of South Florida, conducts a case-based discussion regarding Infectious diseases syndromes for which it is essential that a provider not miss the diagnosis in an ambulatory care setting. Dr. Toney initiates each case by presenting a case, then providing choices of possible answers, followed by clinical pearls relevant to the case. At the conclusion of this informative and interactive presentation, it is hoped that the audience will have a greater understanding of several critical ID ambulatory care emergencies that every provider needs to recognize.