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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.

The only way we’ll know when we need COVID-19 boosters

The Atlantic
June 23, 2021
Midway through America’s first mass-immunization campaign against the coronavirus, experts are already girding themselves for the next. The speedy rollout of wildly effective shots in countries such as the United States, where more than half the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, has shown remarkable progress—finally, slowly, steadily beating the coronavirus back. But as people inch toward something tantalizingly resembling pre-pandemic life, a cloud hangs over our transcendent summer of change: the specter of vaccine failure. We spent months building up shields against the virus, and we still don’t know how long we can expect that protection to last.

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Careful! Scary health news can be harmful to your health

Harvard Health Publishing
June 17, 2021
A powerful story is hard to ignore. In fact, we’re biologically wired to respond to storytelling. But it’s important not to let a good story get in the way of good health decisions. Consider three recent news stories about people with common symptoms, each of whom turned out to have a serious condition…

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5 Ways to stop summer colds from making the rounds in your family

NPR
June 16, 2021
Perhaps the only respite pandemic closures brought to my family — which includes two kids under age 6 — was freedom from the constant misery of dripping noses, sneezes and coughs. And statistics suggest we weren’t the only ones who had fewer colds last year: With daycares and in-person schools closed and widespread use of masks and hand sanitizer in most communities, cases of many seasonal respiratory infections went down, and flu cases dropped off a cliff.

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New pediatricians are seeing few ‘bread and butter’ cases, but an influx of mental health crises

STATNews
June 1, 2021
In his first month as a pediatric intern at the University of California San Francisco, Alexander Hartman saw his first patient with an eating disorder. The same night, he saw a dozen more. His first rotation of his first year of residency was in the general pediatrics ward, and on nights, Hartman and the other interns covered the adolescent service, seeing teens starting from puberty. One night in June 2020, there were around a dozen patients in the ward, all with eating disorders. It was double the usual caseload.

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

STATNews
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

Nature
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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