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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health




SWCOEH faculty, staff and students have provided over 580 hours of COVID-19 outreach and training to professionals and organizations across PHR6 and the U.S. The range of topics covered included keeping workers and customers safe, returning to work, or use of personal protective equipment. The SWCOEH has also provided numerous consultations to work organizations and news interviews on COVID-19. Our bilingual English and Spanish COVID-19 Resource website hosts the post-webinar recordings, industry-specific publications, media interviews, and links to local, regional, national, and international public health web-based resources. In addition, our trilingual English, Spanish, and Guatemalan K’iche’ COVID-19 mitigation and vaccine resources for agricultural workers and their families can be found here. Our COVID-19 education and outreach program has facilitated the education of 2,079 agricultural workers and their families, the on-worksite COVID-19, influenza, Tdap, MMR, and pneumonia vaccination of over 3,200 dairy, produce, meat-processing, and equipment manufacturing industries workers as well as their immediate family members with the help of 24 local health and non-health community partners across 19 counties in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

For More Information

AnabelRodriguezHeadshotAnabel Rodriguez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Director, Outreach Program
Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
UTHealth School of Public Health
7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 1119
San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: 210-276-9019

SWCOEH Homepage

Workplace Infectious Diseases

What are infectious diseases?
Infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that can spread from person-to-person directly or indirectly in other ways. Humans can also become infected after exposure to an infected animal.

What is Influenza?
Influenza (or the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. There are two main types of flu: Type A and Type B.

What is tetanus?
Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria. These bacteria invade the body and produce a poison that causes painful muscle contractions.

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick or has symptoms. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB disease. If not treated properly, active TB disease can be fatal.

What is Hepatitis A (HAV)?
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, and when this happens, the liver's function can be affected.

What is Hepatitis B (HBV)?
Hepatitis B (HBV) is another virus that can cause inflammation of the liver.

What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox. The virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and Monkeypox is rarely fatal.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19?
COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, the flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system.

Myths & Facts: COVID-19 Vaccines

  • MYTH: The ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.
    • FACT: Nearly all the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are also ingredients in many foods – fats, sugars, and salts.
  • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cause variants.
    • FACT: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants. COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging.
  • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips.
    • FACT: No. Not possible.
  • MYTH: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine can make you magnetic.
    • FACT: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at your injection site. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.
  • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can alter my DNA.
    • FACT: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
  • MYTH: A COVID-19 vaccine will make me sick with coronavirus.
    • FACT: No, the vaccine cannot make you sick. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain a live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines will affect my fertility.
    • FACT: Currently, no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men.

The good news is that prevention of infectious diseases is easy! Practice the following preventative tips:


  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Cover your cough and sneezer with a tissue and throw it away after
  • Reduce your contact with sick individuals (those coughing or sneezing)
  • Wear your mask (KN95 or N95) when sick or around sick individuals
  • Avoid sharing personal items like toothbrushes or glucometers
  • Maintain a clean home and workplace and disinfect frequently
  • Stay home when you feel sick or test positive

Remember getting vaccinated is the BEST way to prevent infectious diseases!