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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. Note: Some links may require subscriptions.

Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 makes up nearly half of U.S. COVID cases

January 20, 2023
The fast-spreading Omicron XBB.1.5 is estimated to make up nearly half of U.S. COVID-19 cases, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed on Friday, putting it on track to become the dominant subvariant in the country. It is estimated to account for 49.1% of COVID cases in the country in the week ended Jan. 21, a jump from 37.2% last week.

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Can ‘Radical Rest’ Help With Long COVID Symptoms?

January 18, 2023
On March 18, 2020, Megan Fitzgerald was lying on the floor of her Philadelphia home after COVID-19 hit her like a ton of bricks. She had a fever, severe digestive issues, and she couldn’t stand on her own. Yet there she was, splayed out in the bathroom, trying both to respond to work emails and entertain her 3-year-old son, who was attempting to entice her by passing his toys through the door.

She and her husband, both medical researchers, were working from home early in the pandemic with no child care for their toddler. Her husband had a grant application due, so it was all-hands-on-deck for the couple, even when she got sick.

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Got neck and back pain? Break up your work day with these 5 exercises for relief

January 5, 2023
After staring at a computer screen for hours at a time, the body often gives us a clue that it is stressed: nagging neck and back pain.

To fix the problem, you might have gotten advice to focus on posture or ergonomics, but exercise research points to another strategy as well – taking short spurts of movement throughout the day to release tension and stress in the body.

“As a society, the assumption is that we have pain because of poor posture and slouching,” says Kieran O’Sullivan, an associate professor of physiotherapy at the University of Limerick’s School of Allied Health in Ireland. “But [the issue] isn’t as neat and tidy as we thought. We have been trying all these fixes [with ergonomics] and it has arguably not fixed the problem. I think it is more about needing breaks from the working day with ... movement.”

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