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.
Why is Delta such a big deal? And other burning questions about the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic
July 23, 2021
In the United States, where the variant is estimated to be causing more than 4 out of 5 new infections, largely among the unvaccinated, the outbreaks in places like Arkansas and Missouri have once again placed health systems under stress. They’ve also led to more questions about whether Delta even poses a threat to people who are vaccinated and complicated the discussion about what precautions schools need to reopen fully in the fall.
Organ donations held almost steady during the pandemic, as the U.S. transplant system scrambled to keep going
July 7, 2021
This is not a pandemic “silver lining” story. This is a could-have-been-far-worse story about how the pandemic did not fuel a catastrophe in transplantation or worsen the persistent gap between people who need organs and the donations that supply them. But just as the pandemic is not over yet, neither is the potential danger of related ramifications for people whose organs may fail and need replacement.
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.
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…
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.
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.