Cycling During COVID-19: How To Ride Safely

Cycling During COVID-19: How To Ride Safely

From Aventon

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the world, it has also caused the cycling world to make changes to their daily lives. Not only has the pandemic led to canceled bike races across the country, but it has also led many riders to ask what cycling during coronavirus looks like.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the basics about COVID-19 to give you a better understanding of the virus so that you can take the necessary safety measures to cycleduring this time safely.

THE BASICS

Let’s start off by talking about the basics of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus for which there is no known treatment or vaccine at the moment. While it’s very likely that some of us may have experienced some kind of coronavirus at some point in our lives, recent public health studies suggest that this strain is more contagious than previous ones.

Like most viruses, COVID is spread through droplet transmission and generally presents itself as the common cold with minor respiratory ailments. However, complications may arise in varying severity; in some cases, even leading to death.

You can also contract the virus by touching an object or surface that where droplets from a cough or sneeze has landed. Once the droplets have contaminated your hands, you may inadvertently touch your nose or mouth, introducing the virus into your respiratory system.

Recent studies suggest that the virus itself may be able to survive for as long as three days on plastic, metal, or glass surfaces.

 

PRECAUTIONARY SAFETY MEASURES TO TAKE DURING THE PANDEMIC

There are a few simple steps that everyone can take to make sure they will not get the virus, or spread it. While this list is not complete with everything to help fight back against the spread of the coronavirus, it is a valuable starting point.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

As many of you have heard,social distancing is a great way to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus. This means not gathering in large groups, and always observing a distance of six feet between you and the person next to you.

Additionally, as a rule of thumb, unless you know where your companions have been and who they have been in contact over with the past 14 days, it is in the interest of your health to not risk visiting with other people at the moment. Even one gathering can mean the difference between breaking the chain of transmission.

WEAR A MASK

Droplet transmission means that an infected person can expel the virus through coughing, sneezing, or talking. If you happen to be in close proximity to them (that is, within approximately six feet), there is a chance you might inhale the virus and introduce it into your own body.

If you have to be around others in public for any reason, best practice suggests wearing a mask to protect yourself and others. Face coverings of any kind can reduce droplet transmission when we talk, cough, or sneeze.

WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY

Washing your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after touching frequently-used items is another excellent way to prevent transmission. Time your hand washing routine so you spend at least 20 seconds covering the entire surface area of your hands with soap before rinsing.

Rubbing with hand sanitizer also works, but does not eliminate the virus as efficiently as washing with soap and water.

ADDITIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES

    • Do not touch your face.
    • Practice good hand hygiene at all times.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your shoulder, or elbow.
    • If possible, work from home to prevent unnecessary interaction with other people.
    • Keep away from being around many people as much as possible.
    • Stay home if you feel you are sick or beginning to feel sick.
    • Avoid unnecessary travel.
    • Get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.
    • Take your vitamins.
    • Protect your immune system.
    • Exercise and eat healthy.

HOW TO SAFELY RIDE YOUR BIKE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

So, what does all of the above have to do with riding a bike?

 

Cycling is a great way to remain healthy, both physically and emotionally, while also living in a socially-distanced environment. But how can you ensure your safety, as well as the safety of others while you are cycing?

 

Well, the good news is that cycling not only carries minimal risk of transmission of COVID-19, it’s also extremely unlikely to contract COVID-19 while cycling, especially while riding on your own. However, just to be safe, let’s take a look at a few recommendations for the next time you feel like going for a ride.

 

First and foremost, if you think you have been exposed, self-quarantine. As unfortunate as this will sound, this is of utmost importance.

 

Unless you get tested, you cannot be certain that you are not carrying the virus, even if you are not exhibiting symptoms. Stay home to avoid the risk of infecting others. Restrictions include not riding outdoors until you have been self-quarantined for at least 14 days.

 

If you plan on cycling with a group of others, keep a minimum of six feet of space when riding with the group. Furthermore, it’s recommended not to ride with people who reside outside of your household or if you have not discussed how each one of you has been quarantining.

 

Additionally, when you find yourself need to pass someone on the road or on the bike lanes, try to give as wide a berth as possible to make sure both parties are adhering to social distancing best practices.

SHOULD YOU WEAR A MASK WHEN RIDING?

CDC guidelines have recently been updated to urge people to wear fabric face coverings in any public setting where social distancing measures cannot strictly be ensured (i.e., grocery stores, bike shops). So, what does this mean for athletes and people who exercise outdoors?

 

Read more: eBike Laws and How They Impact Riders

 

Well, it is not a situation to take lightly. While you may not need to wear a mask while you are cycling by yourself, you should bring one along in the event of an emergency or if you need to stop at a store to grab a drink. Face coverings do two great things:

  1. They prevent spread from the ill and protect against inhalation in healthy individuals.
  2. They are highly effective when used correctly.

 

The objective of the mask is not only to protect yourself from the virus, but also to protect others from it, as well. The asymptomatic spread of the virus remains a critical concern, which means someone might have the ability to spread the virus to other people without knowing they even contracted it.

You can never be sure if the person next to you is infected, or if you yourself are. Wearing a mask by default could greatly help in decreasing the transmission of this highly contagious virus.

 


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

How COVID Has Impacted Bone Health and What You Can Do About It Right Now

How COVID Has Impacted Bone Health and What You Can Do About It Right Now

From YouAreUNLTD by Feel It In Your Bones

Osteoporosis is often described as “a silent disease.” During COVID, this has never been more true. Bone health took a back seat. Health assessments, bone density testing and sometimes treatment itself were upended by the pandemic. This disruption in care may have serious, long-term consequences for patients.“The impact is going to be seen both immediately and down the line, as we see people not getting diagnosed, not getting treated,” says Dr. Vivien Brown, a family physician, assistant professor with the department of family and community medicine, University of Toronto. “And ultimately, we may see an increase in fracture risk and fracture rate. And now, six months into COVID when we’re referring patients for bone density tests, there is a backlog.”

Screening for osteoporosis is critical, according to Dr. Brown, especially for women over the age of 50. More than breast cancer, more than heart attacks or stroke, women are most likely to experience a fracture due to weakened bones. Medical intervention to prevent or treat osteoporosis, as well as the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours, may be needed. Failing to diagnose the disease can lead to serious outcomes.

“Until they’ve had a fracture, until they’ve had an event, people don’t really have osteoporosis on their radar as a concern,” explains Dr. Brown, who just updated her book, A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging (to be published in January 2021). When COVID hit, the focus for healthcare was on providing essential services only. Bone density testing was not considered essential.”

Long-term consequences of the care gap

These interruptions have caused a care gap, making incidents like hip fractures an even greater concern. The research is alarming – 28 per cent of women and more than 37 percent of men over the age of 80 die in the first year after a hip fracture. “It can be a life-altering event, if not a life-ending event,” she says. “We really need to still maintain our level of vigilance around osteoporosis. And I don’t think that’s happening day to day in the medical community.”

Furthermore, she points out that hip fractures can become family tragedies, according to Dr. Brown. “Some patients can’t return home to live independently. They may not be able to walk without assistance. They may not ever be able to drive again. It really alters their quality of life, which impacts the entire family…. The way I think about osteoporosis is that it is not just a bone disease. Osteoporosis is your independence on the line.”

As the impact of COVID has rippled across the country, continuity of care for osteoporosis patients has suffered. For those who were prescribed injectable medications, missed shots were an issue. “The consequences are really significant because the benefits of an injectable medication are completely reversible,” points out Dr. Brown. “That means when you get past that six-month window where you’re supposed to get your next injection, if you go more than a month or so, you start to reverse the benefits you’ve had because the drug is out of your system. That reversal actually increases your risk of fracture. It’s really important to stay on schedule with this medication. It means being creative – either seeing your doctor for the injections, getting it from a pharmacist, or learning how to self-inject. Just delaying an injection is not acceptable.”

During COVID, the focus on osteoporosis decreased. Good lifestyle habits also waned as people stayed home. Sedentary behaviour and poor dietary habits increased, while the ability to exercise in a gym and access to healthy food was negatively impacted. “A number of my older patients who live at home alone and don’t want to go to the grocery store are not eating healthy diets,” she says. “And if they’re not checking in with their doctor and not being reminded of what they need to do – something gets forgotten or left by the wayside.”

“The Way I Think About Osteoporosis Is That It Is Not Just A Bone Disease. Osteoporosis Is Your Independence On The Line.”

Issues with fracture follow-up

The pandemic has had a profound impact on our social support systems, too, especially when someone goes into the hospital with a fracture. Due to safety protocols, they cannot have their partners or someone else with them to be present to listen to a doctor’s instructions post-discharge. It’s concerning to Dr. Brown who fears that something will be overlooked. “If you’re in the hospital by yourself, it may be scary and you may be in pain,” she says. “You may not hear what the doctor is saying clearly. You get your cast or have the fracture treated, then get sent home. I don’t know that people are getting good follow up care.”

That lack of follow-up has a direct impact on continuity of care – a key component in successful osteoporosis management. “In some ways, osteoporosis is like hypertension. Patients often don’t feel it,” she notes. “Maybe they take their drugs for a couple of months, but then stop taking them if the meds are not easily accessible, if they don’t understand them, or not feeling the impact of the disease… It’s important to adhere to whatever has been prescribed.”

Now, it’s time to get back on track and to make bone health a priority again. How do we do that? Here are a few pointers from Dr. Brown:

6 ways to get back on track with your bone health during COVID

  1. Contact your doctor for a health review, which should include a discussion of osteoporosis prevention and ensuring you’re up-to-date with any medications to treat the disease.
  2. Let your doctor know whether you’ve had a recent fracture. A fracture may need to be investigated further to rule out osteoporosis as an underlying cause.
  3. Take an easy online test to determine your risk of a fracture. The FRAX fracture assessment tool can be done in just a few minutes and will look at key factors to calculate how likely you are to experience a fracture in the next 10 years.
  4. Have your risk for osteoporosis assessed by a healthcare provider. Factors that heighten your risk include: low body weight, family history of osteoporosis or broken bones from a minor injury, lifestyle behaviours (smoking, having three or more alcoholic drinks a day, and being sedentary), certain medical conditions (like rheumatoid arthritis), being a woman over the age of 50, and certain medications.
  5. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it’s time to schedule a bone density test. It is recommended that all women and men over age 65 have routine bone density tests. Men and women from the age of 50 to 64 with risk factors for fractures should also be tested.
  6. Resume good habits, like eating a diet with adequate vitamin D and calcium, exercising and sitting less.

 

 


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

20 Tips For Working From Home

We found this great article on PCMag. by Jill Duffy and wanted to share… Great tips for working from home!

The outbreak of the coronavirus has more people working from home than ever. If you’re new to working remotely, these tips from a home-office pro can help you stay productive and maintain balance. Read more

Recreational areas reopen in Albuquerque

Recreational areas reopen in Albuquerque

From Visit Albuquerque 

As outdoor lands and some recreational areas reopen in Albuquerque and New Mexico, state officials are reminding residents and visitors to be respectful of these places and continue to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The city of Albuquerque sits a mile above sea level (5,000-6,000-foot elevation) and has a high-desert climate, which means around 310 sunny days and cool, crisp evenings. Albuquerque’s climate and landscape are perfect for outdoor adventure vacations. We have four seasons, so plan for potential snow in the winter and sunny days in the 90s during the summer.

Albuquerque and the surrounding mountainous terrain are a paradise for hikers and bikers. Varying levels of trails crisscross the Sandia and Manzano Mountains adjacent to Albuquerque, for some of the best hiking and mountain biking in New Mexico. Runners—including several Olympic distance runners—often take advantage of the benefits of altitude training in Albuquerque.

Not into heights? Venture out on the interconnected trail system throughout the city. The Paseo del Bosque Trail is an easily accessible 16-mile multi-use route enjoyed by walkers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters and even horseback riders. Start planning your fitness vacation today.

HIKING OPTIONS – FROM A CASUAL STROLL TO CLIMBING MOUNTAINS

The Sandia (“watermelon” in Spanish) Mountains, the eastern landmark of the city, beckon outdoor enthusiasts. In the evening, the mountains turn a pinkish hue as the sun sets, creating a spectacular backdrop for the city. There’s a reason the International Science Times named Albuquerque one of the “Top 10 Skinny Cities” in America. The high-desert landscape offers an array of hiking options, with challenging trails to the top of Sandia Peak, rolling paths through the foothills and even historical trails at Petroglyph National Monument The high-desert landscape offers an array of hiking options, with challenging trails to the top of Sandia Peak, rolling paths through the foothills and even historical trails at . Those options are right in the city, but many more routes will take you away from the city for a day trip in any direction.

More about hiking »

BIKING AT A MILE HIGH

Whether you bring your bike with you or rent one in town, there is an array of options for cycling in and around Albuquerque. The Sandias are perfect for beginner to advanced mountain biking. Road cyclists head out from the city in every direction—for flat training rides or challenging mountain inclines. If you are a leisurely biker, check out the local rental companies that offer guided tours of areas like Old Town and the Paseo del Bosque Trail, which was named one of the 20 best bike paths in the West by Sunset Magazine.

More about biking »

SANDIA PEAK AERIAL TRAMWAY

The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway’s 2.7-mile ascent to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains is a thrilling way to see Albuquerque and the surrounding landscape. From the top, take in a panorama of more than 11,000 square miles. The tram offers excellent access to a variety of hikes and wildlife experiences, and the peak is the perfect location to catch a gorgeous New Mexico sunset. Intrepid hikers may be interested in the La Luz Trail, which takes you to the highest point of Sandia Peak. To save some time (and energy), you can catch the tram for a ride down with a one-way ticket.

More about the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway »

LET SOMEONE ELSE LEAD THE WAY

If you’re looking for a local to help you experience the magnificent landscapes around Albuquerque, you have a variety of options. From cultural jeep tours to canoe/kayak floats down the Rio Grande, and from themed bike outings to scenic photography expeditions, local companies have got you covered.

Find tour options »

EVER SEEN A SUPER VOLCANO?

For an interesting day trip, head northwest to the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains, about 1.5 hours from Albuquerque. The 89,000-acre property is situated inside a collapsed crater that offers tremendous outdoor activities. During the winter, enjoy sleigh rides, cross-country skiing and snowshoe hikes. Summertime visitors hike through the backcountry and mountain bike. Artists of all kinds seek the beauty of the preserve to feed their creativity. Guided tours are available year-round.

Learn more about the Valles Caldera »

HOT AIR BALLOONING CAPITAL

Clear blue skies, calm winds and mild temperatures are the norm in Albuquerque, encouraging year-round hot air ballooning. You don’t have to be as adventurous as you might think to take a flight. Local hot air balloon companies provide rides for visitors on a daily basis (weather permitting).

Book a balloon flight »

GOLF AT HIGH ALTITUDE

If you haven’t played golf in the Albuquerque area, you’re missing out on one of the sport’s best-kept secrets. The area’s unique scenery combines with affordability to provide an unbeatable cost-to-quality value. Golf Digest and Golf Magazine have ranked several of Albuquerque’s public courses among the best in the country.

See golfing options »


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Why you still need to wear a face mask (and how to wear it properly)

Why you still need to wear a face mask (and how to wear it properly)

Article Featured on Scrubbin.in

As some aspects of life begin to return to normal — or at least a new normal — it may be tempting to ease up on precautions and preventive steps. But remember that COVID-19 safety measures, including wearing a face mask, are still as important as ever.

While most people know how to wash their hands and how to social distance, picking the right mask and using it properly may feel like a more overwhelming task. Here are some tips to help you mask more effectively.

Remember why you’re wearing a mask.

Wearing a mask is an essential part of curtailing this pandemic. You may be growing weary of wearing a mask every time you leave your home but when you wear it, you do your part in helping overcome the virus. Not wearing a mask only puts your life and the lives of those around you at risk.

Studies suggest almost half of people have been infected by someone who isn’t even showing symptoms yet. You may feel healthy and think likewise about those around you, but don’t let that lull you into complacency!

Be sure to wear your mask correctly.

For your mask to provide the proper protection, it must cover your mouth and nose. Make sure your mask fits over both your mouth and nose, and watch out for your friends and loved ones to make sure their masks fit properly.

Wear a mask that layers multiple materials.

Your mask should either be a cloth mask with an inserted filter material (think cotton quilting batting) or a mask that layers multiple different kinds of fabric. When different types of fabric are layered together in a mask (such as cotton and silk or cotton and flannel), electrostatic forces are created that can trap viral particles even when the fibers of the mask are technically large enough that viral particles could pass through. It is electrostatic forces in much thinner surgical masks that actually give those masks such remarkable efficiency.

Make sure your mask fits snugly.

If your mask does not seal tightly to your face, cut a tube of stocking from a pair of hose and wear this over your mask to improve fit and diminish air leak around your mask. This can markedly increase the effectiveness of your mask.

Wash your hands.

After you take off your mask, wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 65% alcohol. Masking without handwashing is pointless — the two should go hand in hand.

What else can you do to promote mask use?

Lead by example through your actions. Speak to your friends and family about the importance of wearing masks, washing your hands frequently and social distancing to help prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Remind your loved ones that wearing a mask is one of the simplest kindnesses one can perform right now as a member of society. Now more than ever, we are all depending on each other to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. We must all do unto others as we would have them do unto us.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Protect yourself when caring for someone who is sick

Limit contact

COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets, created when someone talks, coughs or sneezes.

  • The caregiver, when possible, should not be someone who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Use a separate bedroom and bathroom. If possible, have the person who is sick stay in their own “sick room” or area and away from others. If possible, have the person who is sick use a separate bathroom.
  • Shared space: If you have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow.
    • Open the window and turn on a fan (if possible) to increase air circulation.
    • Improving ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air.
  • Avoid having visitors. Avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially visits by people who are at higher risk for severe illness.

Eat in separate rooms or areas

  • Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room, if possible.
  • Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware used by the person who is sick with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
  • Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.

Avoid sharing personal items

  • Do not share: Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, silverware, towels, bedding, or electronics (like a cell phone) with the person who is sick.
When to wear a cloth face cover or gloves
  • Sick person:
    • The person who is sick should wear a cloth face covering when they are around other people at home and out (including before they enter a doctor’s office).
    • The cloth face covering helps prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others. It keeps respiratory droplets contained and from reaching other people.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is not able to remove the covering without help.
  • Caregiver:
    • Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with the sick person’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine. Throw out gloves into a lined trash can and wash hands right away.
    • The caregiver should ask the sick person to put on a cloth face covering before entering the room.
    • The caregiver may also wear a cloth face covering when caring for a person who is sick.
      • To prevent getting sick, make sure you practice everyday preventive actions: clean hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. You may need to make a cloth face covering using a scarf or bandana. Learn more here.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tell everyone in the home to do the same, especially after being near the person who is sick.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Hands off: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash and dry laundry

  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling dirty laundry.
  • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Wash items according to the label instructions. Use the warmest water setting you can.
  • Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
  • Dry laundry, on hot if possible, completely.
  • Wash hands after putting clothes in the dryer.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers. Wash hands afterwards.

Use lined trash can

  • Place used disposable gloves and other contaminated items in a lined trash can.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
  • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined trash can.
  • If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Is It Allergies or COVID-19? An Expert Helps You Tell the Difference

Is It Allergies or COVID-19? An Expert Helps You Tell the Difference

By Robert Preidt | Article Featured on WebMD

With allergy season and the coronavirus pandemic overlapping this spring, one allergist offers some advice on how to tell which one may be making you miserable.

“This spring allergy season has been especially challenging because of the pandemic of COVID-19, and a lot of my patients, and a lot of allergy sufferers, can have a hard time distinguishing between what is an allergy and what are symptoms of COVID-19,” said Dr. Rachna Shah, an allergist at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Ill.

Typical symptoms of seasonal allergies include itchy eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, runny nose and post-nasal drip. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, diarrhea and, sometimes, a sore throat.

Is it allergies or the flu?

“The big differentiating factor between allergies and COVID-19 are those itchy symptoms — itchy eyes, itchy nose and sneezing. If you are experiencing these, they are most likely due to environmental allergies and not COVID-19,” Shah said in a Loyola news release.

Many people with allergies also suffer from asthma.

“Asthma can also make you more susceptible to having more severe symptoms of COVID-19,” Shah said. “So, it is really important to have an up-to-date action plan for both your allergies and for your asthma.”

Shah noted that often, “when people are feeling well, they will become more lax about following their treatment plans.”

Patients must be “vigilant” in taking all medications as prescribed and having additional inhalers and refills, Shah urged.

To minimize spring allergy symptoms, try to avoid allergens. For example, keep windows closed, and rinse off or change clothes after being outside.

Many of the current restrictions for preventing the spread of the coronavirus — such as staying at home — can also help minimize allergy and asthma symptoms this spring, according to Shah.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

New Mexico: State extends modified stay-home order

New Mexico: State extends modified stay-home order

Article Featured on NM Department of Health

New Mexico enters “Preparation Phase” for safe reopening

SANTA FE – New Mexico state leadership on Thursday announced the extension of the state’s emergency public health order through May 15 as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a grave risk to residents of all ages and in all communities across New Mexico.

As of Thursday, there were 3,411 reported positive cases in the state of New Mexico and 123 reported fatalities associated with the virus. The highly contagious virus continues to spread in communities statewide, with particular emphasis in the northwestern part of the state.

Despite continued spread, New Mexico as a state has begun to flatten the curve, purchasing much-needed time to ramp up our healthcare system. Because of that hard work, we are entering the “Preparation Phase” for gradual, safe reopenings. With that objective, the amended public health order relaxes several restrictions to begin relieving economic pressure.

In short, physical distancing must be maintained to assure the spread of the virus is stunted in every part of the state.

“These changes do not make our fight against the virus any easier; in fact, New Mexicans’ obligation to our social contract only deepens as we enter the next phase,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The best defense against this virus, until there is a vaccine, is physical distance from other people. We know those who are infected do not always show symptoms, and we know the virus does not care about county lines; we must all be vigilant. The progress we have made is tenuous – and it is subject to change. But when we reach a place, as we have, where our collective actions have begun to flatten the statewide curve, we can begin to make productive, safe decisions about alleviating some of the awful social and economic pressure this virus has brought down on us all. Today we are willing and able to do that. As we move forward, and as we make more careful decisions about relaxations, the data about this virus and its spread in our state will be our guide; public health remains first and foremost priority.

“But let me be clear: The reopening of New Mexico depends upon New Mexicans. Going out and congregating will worsen the spread of this disease. It will lead to more illness and likely death. A cavalier attitude toward individual activity is a grave danger to our collective health. We cannot win this fight – we cannot prevent the illnesses and deaths of our neighbors all across the state – if we let our collective guard down. As a state, we have to prevent and manage the spread of this virus and provide for safe social and economic activity. Every day moving forward we will do both.”

To that end, the amended order, authorized by Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel and effective at 8 a.m. Friday, May 1, maintains the directive that New Mexicans remain at home except for outings essential to health, safety and welfare. The amended order similarly maintains that gatherings of more than five individuals are prohibited. Restaurants and dine-in outlets may provide only curbside and delivery service, as before. Grocers and other essential retail services must continue to operate at only 20 percent of their maximum capacity as determined by fire code.

The order allows for partial reopenings for business operations deemed non-essential to health, safety and welfare.

Non-essential retailers, beginning Friday, may provide curbside pickup and delivery services if permitted by their business license. Liquor licenses, for instance, do not allow for curbside or delivery service. Child care may now be extended to people operating non-essential businesses.

Additional changes include:​

  • State parks may reopen on a modified day-use-only basis, as staff is available. Camping and visitor centers are still closed. The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources department will notify the public of the parks that will be open in the near future.
  • Federally licensed firearm retailers may open by appointment only as needed conduct background checks and to allow individuals to take possession of firearms ordered online.
  • Golf courses may open to golf only – no dine-in or retail service.
  • Pet services – including adoption, grooming, daycare and boarding – are permitted to operate.
  • Veterinarians are permitted to operate.

A separate public health order dated Thursday addresses New Mexico’s June 2 primary election by allowing polling locations to open with limits. The order says no more than four voters or 20 percent of capacity may be inside a polling place at a time; mobile voting units may have no more than two voters at a time.

A third public health order allows medical facilities to gradually resume non-essential but medically necessary procedures (including ambulatory and inpatient surgery) based on extensive guidelines from the Department of Health. The guidelines are designed to prevent a shortage of personal protective equipment and to safeguard the health of patients and healthcare workers.

At a remote news conference Thursday, the governor and state health officials outlined potential additional relaxations that could occur upon the expiration of the amended health order. These prospective relaxations — which will be evaluated by the governor’s Economy Recovery Council and supported by findings of Cabinet-led subcommittees on specific industries – are dependent upon increasingly positive trends in COVID-19 illness and transmission data as determined by the state’s “gating criteria.”

Those criteria include: A mitigated spread of the virus as reflected in the effective rate of transmission, to be measured by the state Medical Advisory Team; adequate and stable testing resources, to be measured by the Department of Health; effective contact-tracing plans and resources, to be measured by epidemiologists at the Department of Health; health care systems operating below staffed capacity for beds, ICU availability and ventilators, and sufficient personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders, to be measured by the Department of Health and Medical Advisory Team.

Weekly modeling from the Medical Advisory Team will be regularly posted moving forward on the COVID-specific microsite, cv.nmhealth.org. Modeling data is available here: https://cvmodeling.nmhealth.org. That data along with slides from state officials’ remote news conferences are available here: https://cv.nmhealth.org/newsroom.

The modified public health order and other orders referenced herein are attached to this news release.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

More than 727,000 people have recovered from COVID-19. Here’s what we know about coronavirus survivors.

Most people who get the coronavirus recover. More than 727,000 such cases have been documented worldwide.

“Eventually, if all goes well, your immune system will completely destroy all of the virus in your system,” Tom Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, wrote in The Conversation. “A person who was infected with and survived a virus with no long-term health effects or disabilities has ‘recovered.'”

Still, many uncertainties remain: It’s not yet clear how many people have recovered, how the illness will affect them in the long run, or how long they’ll be immune.

Here’s everything we know about the people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Although more than 727,000 people who had the coronavirus have recovered worldwide according to a Johns Hopkins University database, the true number is probably far higher than that.

Data on recoveries is less precise than case counts and death tolls, and many counties, states, territories, and regions don’t report how many of their residents have recovered.

“Recovered cases outside China are country-level estimates based on local media reports and may be substantially lower than the true number,” Douglas Donovan, a spokesman for the university, told CNN.

Plus, due to limited testing availability in some countries, including the US, the most severe cases are prioritized for official diagnoses. People who have mild symptoms, or none at all, are less likely to get tested — if they even seek testing in the first place. That means that many mild infections are not included in the count of total cases or recoveries.

That can skew experts’ understanding of the disease and how they predict its trajectory.

“Knowing the real number of infected people in the population would be very useful to have better models of when disease will peak and decline, and also when we can begin to return people to work,” Dr. Bala Hota, a professor of infectious diseases and Associate Chief Medical Officer at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, told CNN.

What recovery is like

Hota told CNN that many patients still have a mild cough and feel tired even once they’re considered recovered and are no longer contagious. It can take a long time to fully get back to normal.

“It takes anything up to six weeks to recover from this disease,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, said in a March press briefing. “People who suffer very severe illness can take months to recover from the illness.”

The process is different for patients who were put on a ventilator.

“What we’re seeing in patients who end up on ventilators is that they often stay on them for several weeks,” Dr. J. Randall Curtis, a professor at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center, told US News & World Report. “And then, coming off the ventilator, they’re often going to be in the ICU for several days, and then back [in a regular hospital unit] for a few days to a week or so to regain their strength.”

Lasting effects

In a CT scan of a COVID-19 patient's lungs, white patches of "ground glass opacity" indicate fluid filling the lungs.

In a CT scan of a COVID-19 patient’s lungs, white patches of “ground glass opacity” indicate fluid filling the lungs.

Dr. Shu-Yuan Xiao, a pathology professor at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, told ABC News that most people with mild cases of COVID-19 should recover “with no lasting effect.” The future is murkier for patients who develop severe illness, though.

Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority reported in March that within a group of 12 recovered patients, “two to three” showed decreased lung capacity in follow-up visits with doctors. Those few patients gasped for air when they walked, according to the South China Morning Post. Scans of nine patients’ lungs revealed signs of organ damage.

But because the coronavirus was first identified in December, there hasn’t been much time to research recovered patients and publish the findings.

“This is a little bit of an understudied group,” Hota said.

Experts do have a sense of the effects that severe pneumonia can have on the body, though. If a patient develops acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), that can scar their lung tissue.

“It’s the same general thing that you have with any type of phenomena that’s severe enough to land you in the ICU,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told ABC News.

Adalja and Xiao both said that some severely ill patients may never recover full lung function.

Antibodies and immunity

People who have been infected develop antibodies that can probably fight off the coronavirus if they encounter it again.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on “The Daily Show” that he was “willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against reinfection.”

But the World Health Organization warned on April 17 that there is no evidence that antibodies ensure immunity.

A Chinese study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, tested 175 recovered COVID-19 patients and found that 10 of them had not developed any detectable coronavirus antibodies.

Still, many experts agree that recovered COVID-19 patients likely have some immunity.

“What we don’t know yet is how long that immunity will last, the quality of that immunity, and whether all individuals will generate a long-lasting high immune response,” Frances Lund, chair of the microbiology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Business Insider.

Fauci said on April 8 that because the virus doesn’t seem to be mutating much, people who recover will likely be immune should the US see a second wave of spread in the fall.

“If we get infected in February and March and recover, next September, October, that person who’s infected — I believe — is going to be protected,” Fauci said.

handful of companies are developing blood tests that can detect COVID-19 antibodies to identify people who have recovered from the virus. Proponents of antibody testing say that it’s imperative in the fight against the outbreak — immune people could return to work safely.

“Ultimately, this might help us figure out who can get the country back to normal,” Florian Krammer, a professor in vaccinology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, told Reuters. “People who are immune could be the first people to go back to normal life and start everything up again.”

However, some reports have stoked fears that immunity doesn’t last as long we’d hope. ChinaSouth Korea, and Japan have all reported people who recovered from the coronavirus and later tested positive. But those cases seem to be rare exceptions — and possibly the result of testing errors, experts say.

When you can leave self-quarantine

If you’re sick and wondering how to know when you’ve recovered, the CDC’s guidelines depend on whether or not you were tested.

If you weren’t tested and probably won’t be, you should stay isolated until you meet three criteria: You’ve have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without fever-reducing medication), your other symptoms (such as shortness of breath or coughing) have improved, and at least seven days have passed since the onset of symptoms.

If you have gotten or will receive a diagnostic test, you need to test negative twice, 24 hours apart, before leaving isolation. Those tests must be done after you no longer have a fever (without fever-reducing medicine) and after other symptoms have improved.

Once you have met these criteria, you can leave your home for essential outings, in accordance with your city, county, and state rules. You should still minimize contact with others, though, as well as disinfect all surfaces, clothes, and objects you’ve touched.

Scientists still aren’t sure when a person with the virus stops being contagious to others, but a team of German researchers found that coronavirus patients “shed” high amounts of virus early on in their infection. (The research is not peer-reviewed yet, however.) In mild cases, the amount of the virus the gets shed decreased significantly after day five.

Patients with mild cases were not infectious eight days after they first started experiencing symptoms. The serious cases were not infectious after day 10 or 11.

Holly Secon contributed reporting.

 


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Common Questions and Answers About COVID-19 for Older Adults and People with Chronic Health Conditions

Common Questions and Answers About COVID-19 for Older Adults and People with Chronic Health Conditions

Article Featured on nfid.org

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and can cause illnesses ranging from mild respiratory infections like the common cold to serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been detected in more than 100 countries, including the US.

Why are older adults and people with chronic health conditions at higher risk?

Older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness and death. This is because our immune systems grow weaker as we age, which makes it more challenging for older adults to fight off infectious diseases. Chronic diseases are more common with age, can compromise the immune system, and make people more vulnerable to serious complications. Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, the CDC recently issued a warning for people who are at the highest risk for serious illness from the virus. It is imperative older adults and others who are at high risk heed the advice of the CDC.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how is it different from flu and allergies?

The main symptoms of COVID-19, which may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure, include: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Not everyone with COVID-19 will experience symptoms, or they may be mild enough that they are dismissed, but they can still be contagious. These symptoms can also seem similar to flu and seasonal allergies but there are some differences.

When should I call a healthcare professional?

It is important to call a healthcare professional as soon as possible if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and begin to develop symptoms. It is important to call first, so that the clinic or hospital can prepare and prevent the spread of infection.

How do they test for COVID-19?

To diagnose a potential case, healthcare professionals may run tests to rule out influenza and other common infections. Not all healthcare facilities are able to test for COVID-19 at this time. The test involves swabbing the nose and throat, and taking samples of any saliva and mucus that is coughed up. They may also draw blood.

Will I have to pay for testing?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking important steps to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19-related testing and treatment to ensure all patients who need it have access to care. Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans will cover lab tests for COVID-19 with no out-of-pocket costs, any necessary hospital care, and telehealth services including virtual check-ins and full visits for those living in rural areas.

How can I best protect myself?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes. It may also be transmitted when you touch a surface or object with the virus on it, then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.

It is important to avoid people who may be infected. Older adults and those with underlying health conditions that can put them at increased risk should stay home to avoid being around others. Nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities should halt social visits. The White House advises that all individuals avoid:

  • Gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Non-essential air travel, and
  • Cruise ships (Note that major cruise lines have suspended trips and others are restricting passengers over the age of 70)

For older adults and adults with underlying health conditions, the CDC advises taking extra measures to put distance between yourself and others including:

  • Staying home whenever possible
  • Considering ways to get food, medicines, and essentials delivered to your home

This is an important advisory to follow, because there is currently no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19 and no specific antiviral medication to treat it. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Proper handwashing is also imperative to preventing COVID-19 infection and spread. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or being in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid handshaking and touching high-traffic surfaces in public places–for example, elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, or counters. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something. Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.

To prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to stay home and avoid crowds. If you do need to go out in public, practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet apart) and wear a cloth face covering to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators should not be used by the general public, as they are in short supply and should be used only by healthcare workers and caregivers who are taking care of infected individuals in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

Although there is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19 at this time, you should still ensure that you and your family’s vaccinations are up to date, including influenza (flu) and pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines. This will help reduce the pressure on the healthcare system by reducing vaccine-preventable diseases.

How can I prepare to be at home for an extended period of time?

Here are some important but simple steps you can take in preparing to remain at home for an extended period:

Getting Medicines and Medical Supplies

Ask your physician or local pharmacy if ordering your medicines online is an option. Many online pharmacies (including national chains) will fill valid prescriptions and ship them directly to your door allowing you to avoid going to the pharmacy in person. CMS is also working with private plans to waive prescription drug refill limits and to relax restrictions on home or mail delivery of prescription drugs. However, only order from a reputable online pharmacy. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers about rogue online pharmacies that claim to sell prescription medicines at deeply discounted prices. Read the FDA warning here. If you have questions, call a healthcare professional. Also, be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (fever reducers, tissues, hydrating beverages, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms.

Ordering Groceries

Have enough basic household items and groceries on hand so you are prepared to stay at home for an extended period of time. Most major grocery chains have made it possible to order groceries online and have them delivered to your door. Check the websites of local or national grocery stores that may allow you to select your items online and then arrange for shipping. Keep in mind, however, that many of these services are experiencing delays due to the high volume of people choosing the safety of online ordering rather than in-person shopping. This means you will need to plan ahead. If you have questions or concerns about the delivery timeline, speak to a customer service representative.

If you must go out for groceries, try to find a local grocery store that offers hours just for older adults. Most of these hours are earlier in the day and offer a chance for older adults to shop without as much exposure. Remember to cover your nose and mouth with a face covering, stay vigilant with handwashing, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose since COVID-19 can remain on certain surfaces for hours and in some cases, days.

How can I help loved ones at risk?

Everyone has a role to play in reducing community spread. The same recommendations for people at risk should be adhered to by everyone to help protect the more vulnerable in our communities. Businesses, schools, and local and federal government should all work together to mitigate community spread of COVID-19 and help protect older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you are a caregiver for someone in a long-term care facility, respect their rules on who can come and go, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the plan if there is an outbreak.

If your loved ones live alone, check on them frequently and find out what services your local Area Agency on Aging offers.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you do get sick, first call a healthcare professional. Unless you need immediate medical care, you should stay at home to avoid spreading your illness. Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, and others if you become sick. Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick. If you or a loved one needs help, contact your local public health department to connect with caregiving services.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, call 9-1-1 and get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse and/or
  • Bluish lips or face

What are other reliable resources for the most up-to-date information?


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.