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Doctors talking

Don’t be afraid to ask: ID specialists to share insights on common, emerging infections

September 19, 2022

Editor's note:  For more coverage of the 2022 AAP National Conference & Exhibition, visit

“I have an 8-year-old in the emergency department with fever and abdominal pain. Do I need to be worried about hepatitis in light of the recent uptick in hepatitis cases?”

“My patient was hiking a week ago and had a tick bite. Should I consider prophylactic doxycycline?”

“I have a 3-year-old in my office who picked up a dirty needle from the playground. Should I test him for HIV?”

These are some of the questions infectious disease (ID) specialists Rana E. El Feghaly, M.D., M.S.C.I., FAAP, and Rachel C. Orscheln, M.D., FAAP, have been fielding from general pediatricians.

They plan to answer these and other ID-related questions during the session “Do You Have a Minute?” (S4516) from 3:30-4:30 p.m. PST Monday, Oct. 10 in rooms 251-252A of the convention center.

General pediatricians often seek guidance related to emerging infectious diseases and recent outbreaks, while others need help differentiating among common infections presenting with rash, said Dr. El Feghaly, associate professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and clinical director, Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy Kansas City.

She and Dr. Orscheln have culled about a dozen questions from actual queries they have received and will address them during the session. They also will provide rationales for their answers, Dr. El Feghaly said.

In her work as director of ambulatory pediatric infectious diseases at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Orscheln frequently fields questions from community providers. She said attendees shouldn’t be afraid to seek advice from their ID colleagues.

“It's always OK to reach out and ask questions when there is a new or unclear situation with patients. I think specialists are always happy to provide guidance and insight that we may have from our vantage points,” said Dr. Orscheln, associate professor of pediatrics, infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Dr. Orscheln and Dr. El Feghaly, who are members of the AAP Section on Infectious Diseases, agree that media coverage has increased awareness of infectious diseases such as monkeypox, hepatitis with adenovirus and parechovirus.

“Everybody's now become interested in infectious diseases, as Rana and I have always been,” Dr. Orscheln said. “I think there's an increased appreciation about transmission of diseases, whether it's through touch, whether it's through respiratory transmission.”

The session will be fast paced, and attendees will leave with pearls, Dr. El Feghaly said. “I think it’s going to be a very fun session.”

For more information on the National Conference, visit View the conference schedule at

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