Three years have passed since the last in-person version of this Continuing Medical Education conference hosted by the Division of Infectious Diseases. That year, 2019, a different pandemic took center stage in the programming as the division celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the founding of the HIV/AIDS Clinic at UI Health Care. It can be hoped that 30 years from now, a similar retrospective, one in which the threat from COVID-19 is equally as diminished, can also be staged.
For now, though, the “novel” coronavirus and the threats it poses once again dominated the programming, as it did in last year’s virtual version of the conference. The morning began with a reminder from conference co-director A. Ben Appenheimer, MD, that COVID-19 is still in the community and that masking throughout the day was encouraged for attendees. His co-director Daniel Diekema, MD, followed with an update on the current state of the pandemic, including what we know about BA.2 variant and the protectiveness of third and fourth doses of vaccines.
Nathan Price, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics-infectious diseases at University of Arizona, covered the impact of COVID-19 and gave a detailed explanation of its connection to multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Overwhelmingly, Price stressed, vaccination offers the the vast majority of children protection from severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. Pulmonary’s Raul Villacreses Rada, MD, and Loreen Herwaldt, MD, described the Long COVID Clinic at UI Health Care, what they have learned since its founding in 2020, and the variety of services they provide.
After a short break in which attendees could catch up and chat with some of the sponsoring vendors, Dilek Ince, MD, covered a number of the current treatments available for people with a COVID diagnosis but who do not require hospitalization.
After lunch, three sets of breakout sessions were available for attendees, moving away from the coronavirus. In the first pair, they could choose between Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA, senior associate dean for medical education at Indiana University, who discussed tuberculosis, now eclipsed by COVID as the deadliest infectious disease, or a session on septic arthritis with Poorani Sekar, MD.
The second pair featured Quanhathai Kaewpoowat, MD, on HIV treatment and prevention, and Eiyu Matsumoto, MD, on infectious diarrhea. In the third pair, attendees could choose between Jason Barker, MD, on S. aureus and Iowa Department of Public Health’s George Walton, MPH, MLS(ASCP) on the rise of sexually transmitted infections in Iowa. To close out the day, Allen, Barker, and Sekar returned to the spotlight to offer their diagnosis acumen on a series of cases presented by Carl LeBuhn, MD, Carver College of Medicine alumnus and current ID physician in Kentucky.
Attendees and presenters remarked throughout the day about how nice it was to be meeting back in person again. [Read our Twitter thread from throughout the day.]