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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff.

As Covid dissipates in the U.S., cold and flu viruses may return with a vengeance

May 27, 2021
A curious thing happened during the Covid-19 pandemic: With masks, social distancing, and Purell galore, we kept most other germs at bay. Flu vanished. Cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which in a normal winter puts nearly 60,000 children under age 5 in the hospital, were nonexistent. Most of us appeared to sidestep the soup of bugs that cause colds…

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What the science says about lifting mask mandates

May 25, 2021
With COVID rates dropping and vaccinations on the rise, the United States and other places are removing some requirements for face coverings. Are they moving too fast?

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How the Covid pandemic ends: Scientists look to the past to see the future

May 19, 2021
We’re approaching the year-and-a-half mark of the globe’s collective experience with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 pandemic it has triggered. At this point, it’s fair to assume people the world over are asking themselves the same two questions: How will this end? And when?

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Vaccines seem to work well against coronavirus variants. It’s also complicated

May 13, 2021
The question about how Covid-19 vaccines stand up to coronavirus variants often gets distilled to: Do they work? The simplest answer is yes. People who’ve received one of the highly powerful vaccines don’t need to be too worried about the variants for now, experts say. But the complete answer is more complicated.

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Can we spread COVID after vaccination?

Medpage Today
May 12, 2021

Wear your mask. Or, don’t wear your mask if you are vaccinated, as long as you are outside. But, keep masking and social distancing inside even if you are vaccinated. It’s confusing to many.

Vaccines have been proven to prevent serious infection, and studies that show a reduction in transmission are building, but they aren’t foolproof. A recent study by Public Health England found that a single dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccine reduced household transmission by up to half. Those both require two doses to be considered “fully vaccinated.” The study comes as we hear more about breakthrough COVID cases.

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This is your brain under anesthesia

May 11, 2021
When you are awake, your neurons talk to each other by tuning into the same electrical impulse frequencies. One set might be operating in unison at 10 hertz, while another might synchronize at 30 hertz. When you are under anesthesia, this complicated hubbub collapses into a more uniform hum. The neurons are still firing, but the signal loses its complexity.

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Sugary drinks may double bowel cancer risk in women under 50

Medical News Today
May 9, 2021
New research has found some intriguing links between sugary drink consumption and the risk of bowel cancer in women.

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How have COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns affected our immune systems?

Medical News Today
May 2, 2021
The world is more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people have been living with lockdown restrictions, quarantine periods, and physical distancing for an extended period of time. Hand sanitizer and masks are rife, and the common cold has not felt so common. But what will these lifestyle changes do to our health?

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