First Choice Neurology

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Because the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, we will be updating this page regularly.

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COVID-19 Presentations

Presented monthly by Neurologist, Jeffrey Gelum, MD

Will I Need a Fourth Booster?
Presented on February 24, 2022
Jeffrey Gelblum, MD

Who is at Risk for Covid Long-Haul?
Presented on February 3, 2022
Jeffrey Gelblum, MD

Preparing for January Omicron Surge
Presented on December 21, 2021
Jeffrey Gelblum, MD

COVID-19 Variants

The B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617.2 (Delta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants circulating in the United States were classified as variants of concern. The more a virus spreads, the more chance it has to mutate. New variants emerge when mutations occur in the genetic code of the virus.  These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. Today, the variants of concern are Delt and Omicron.

Delta Variant (B.1.617.2)
The Delta variant was the greatest threat until the Omicron variant arrived. Delta is more dangerous in many ways. It has an incubation period of four days, rather than six, making people contagious sooner. When the pandemic began, people spread the original coronavirus to an average of two or three people. Today, people infected with delta infect six people, on average.

Delta outbreaks tend to last 10 to 12 weeks, as the virus “burns through” susceptible populations. If the United States continues to follow a pattern seen in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, infections could rise from the current seven-day moving average of 42,000 cases to 250,000 a day.

Omicron (B.1.1.529) (BA.1)
First identified in South Africa, this was detected in the U.S. at the end of January 2021. This is also considered a variant of concern by the CDC.

Omicron may spread more easily than other variants, including Delta. The current severity of illness and death associated with this variant is unclear, but current data shows most cases are less severe. Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are expected, but vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Early evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others. All FDA-approved or authorized vaccines are expected to be effective against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

Omicron (BA.2)
Omicron BA.2 is a descendant of Omicron BA.1 and has begun to displace Omicron's BA.1 with no significant difference in disease severity.

Omicron (BA.1.11)
Other versions of Omicron that have been circulating since December include BA.1.1, a descendant of BA.1.

Largely displaced by BA.1.1, the BA.1 version of Omicron and another sublineage known as BA.3 are grouped together by CDC as B.1.1.529

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

Updated 12/28/21 - CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for everyone ages 5 years and older
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for adults ages 18 years and older
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for adults ages 18 years and older

Booster shots are available to everyone ages 16 years and older who is fully vaccinated.
- Pfizer-BioNTech: Teens and Adults 16 years and older. At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA) are preferred in most situations.
- Moderna: Adults 18 years and older. At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA) are preferred in most situations.
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen: Adults 18 years and older. At least 2 months after receiving your J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA) are preferred in most situations.


Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness.
Number of shots: 2 shots, 21 days apart. Recommended for people ages 5 years and older.
Booster Shot: Everyone ages 16 years and older can get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
Fact Sheet

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness.
Number of shots: 2 shots, 28 days apart. Recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
Booster Shot: People ages 18 years and older who received a Moderna primary series should get a booster shot at least 6 months after completing their primary series.
Fact Sheet

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness.
Number of shots: 1 shot. Recommended for people aged 18 years and older.
Booster Shot: Everyone ages 18 years and older should get a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) at least 2 months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in most situations.
Fact Sheet


All currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and reduce your risk of severe illness. Vaccination can reduce the spread of disease, which helps protect those who get vaccinated and the people around them.

FLORIDA VACCINE LOCATOR BY COUNTY OR CITY
Florida Health Vaccine Locator

COVID-19 Vaccines
English Fact Sheet  I  Spanish Fact Sheet

Covid-19 Delta Variant: Do’s & Don’ts

During this interactive presentation, our expert Dr. Jeff Gelblum will provide great tips to keep you safe during the “Delta Surge”. This presentation is geared toward folks who have already been vaccinated and are concerned about avoiding breakthrough infection. We will give helpful tips about what to do if you are exposed. Don’t miss this important update.

The delta variant continues to fuel the rapid spread of coronavirus cases in Florida, and now emergency rooms and ICUs are overwhelmed and overcrowded with COVID patients.

Medical professionals have been on the front lines in the fight against COVID for a year and a half, but they said this time around the virus is deadlier.

"Doctors are mentally and physically exhausted. I personally held hands with nurses and physicians. I have friends who talked about leaving healthcare -- we're exhausted, " said Dr. Jennifer Buczyner, a neurologist at First Choice Neurology and director of the stroke program at Jupiter Medical Center.

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic.
  • Travel within the United States without getting tested before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel, unless required by local, state, or territorial health authorities at their destination.
  • Travel internationally without getting tested before leaving the United States, unless required by the destination, or self-quarantining after arrival in the United States.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if they have no symptoms or known exposure, if feasible.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing infection, hospitalization, and death. Most people who get COVID-19 are unvaccinated. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19. An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a breakthrough infection. People who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious but are less likely than unvaccinated people to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19.

To reduce the risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) including the Delta variant, and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

    • Wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
      • Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of community transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
    • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
    • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure to a close contact or until a negative test result.
    • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about the vaccines available and possible side effects from vaccines at our Facebook Live event.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about the flu, pneumonia, shingles, and Covid-19 vaccines, plus more.

Preparing for Vaccination: What you need to know

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about the Covid-19 vaccines and what you need to know.

What You Need To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

Is The COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

How mRNA Vaccines Work

What Happens After Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Covid-19 Long-Haulers

Do you suffer from COVID-19 Long-Haul (PACS)? Symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, brain fog, or difficulty thinking clearly. Thousands of Americans who had a mild case of COVID-19 are battling a wide range of health problems. Evidence shows that at least one-third of people who have COVID-19 experience neurological complications.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about Covid long-haulers headaches.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about long-haulers dizziness and vertigo.

Is Covid-19 a Neurological Disorder?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Call your doctor’s office prior to reporting in person for an evaluation. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Doctors have observed neurological symptoms, including confusion, stroke, and seizures, in a small subset of COVID-19 patients. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as a diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you develop emergency warning signs for Coronavirus (COVID-19) get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your doctor for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 

Those with mild cases of COVID-19 appear to recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery may take six weeks or more. About 1% of infected people worldwide will succumb to the disease.

As of May 30, 2020, among COVID-19 cases, the most common underlying health conditions were cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), and chronic lung disease (18%). Hospitalizations were six times higher and deaths 12 times higher among those with reported underlying conditions compared with those with none reported.

Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

Revisions were made on December 23, 2020, to reflect recent data supporting an increased risk of severe illness.

COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently, there are limited data and information about the impact of many underlying medical conditions and whether they increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

How is COVID-19 Diagnosed?

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

Viral Tests
A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.

Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, as well as recent travel and contact with sick people. If your doctor thinks you may have COVID-19, he or she will work with your local health department on testing. Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider. COVID-19 is diagnosed by a viral test:

  • A cotton-tipped swab is wiped inside your nose or throat. A nose and throat swab is used to check for viruses in your nasal mucus.
  • A small sample of mucus coughed from your lungs (sputum) is collected if you have a cough. A sputum culture is performed to check for the virus.

If you test positive for COVID-19 by a viral test, know what protective steps to take if you are sick.

If you test negative for COVID-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

Antibody Tests
An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection.

An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

 

How is COVID-19 Treated?

There is currently no medication to treat COVID-19. Supportive care treatment is done to help your body while it fights the coronavirus. Supportive care may include:

  • Rest. This helps your body fight the illness.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of liquids each day. This includes water, sports drinks, soft drinks without caffeine, juices, tea, and soup.
  • Take pain medicine (acetaminophen and ibuprofen). They help ease pain and reduce fever. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

For severe illness, you may need to be hospitalized. Your care during severe illness may include:

  • IV (intravenous) fluids. These are given through a vein to help keep your body hydrated.
  • Oxygen. Supplemental oxygen or ventilation with a breathing machine (ventilator) may be given so you get enough oxygen in your body.

 

Complications from COVID-19

In many cases, this virus can cause an infection (pneumonia) in both lungs. In some cases, it can cause death. Certain people are at higher risk for complications. This includes older adults and people with serious chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

Since COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus, information about it is changing constantly.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

The virus spreads easily between people
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza. In general, the more closely a person interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

Based on what we currently know, the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people. Stay at least 6 feet away.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, elbow or sleeve, and be sure to discard used tissues into the trash.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Stay home from school, work, or public gatherings when you are sick.

About Contact Tracing

  • Trace and monitor contacts of infected people. Notify them of their exposure.
  • Support the quarantine of contacts. Help ensure the safe, sustainable, and effective quarantine of contacts to prevent additional transmission.
  • Expand staffing resources. Contact tracing in the US will require that states, tribes, localities, and territorial establish large cadres of contact tracers.
  • Use digital tools. Adoption and evaluation of digital tools may expand the reach and efficacy of contact tracers.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Recorded Coronavirus COVID-19 Videos (English)

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about preparing for the Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine.

Managing your Covid Symptoms over the "Long Haul" will be presented by Jeffrey Gelblum, MD.

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD, will explain the PCR, Antigen, and Antibody tests for COVID-19.

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD will discuss the vaccines created by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD, talks about COVID-19 antibody levels and what they really mean. He will discuss B cells, T cells, antibodies, and more.

Dr. Brad Herskowitz was interviewed by NBC6 TV and talks about COVID-19 and headaches.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about anxiety and pain (acute and chronic) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brad Herskowitz, MD talks about stroke and COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about caregiver burnout during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about our loved ones in long term care facilities during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about managing headaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about COVID-19 and antibody testing.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about sleeping during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about COVID-19 and the Nervous System. Myths and falsehoods of the Coronavirus.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about HIPAA Compliance and how to keep your health and personal information safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about how to manage your pain at home during COVID-19.

Dr. Brian Costell talks about neurology telemedicine and telehealth in the USA.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about how to cope as a caregiver during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coping with Insomnia and Anxiety during COVID-19 presented by Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg

Epilepsy and COVID-19 presented by Dr. Andrew Lerman

Migraine and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Video Slide Show Presentation presented by Dr. Jennifer Buczyner

Migraines and COVID-19 presented by Dr. Jennifer Buczyner

Dr. Andrew Lerman talks about TeleHealth and Coronavirus (COVID-19) with neurological conditions.

Taking Care of Your Neurological Disorder during Coronavirus (COVID-19) presented by Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 1 - Re-engaging Older Loved Ones

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about the components of infectivity (Ro). He explains how we start to re-engage with our older family members.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 2 - Re-engaging with Children

Dr. Marytery Fajardo talks about re-engaging with our children after COVID-19.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 3 - The Race for the Vaccine

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD discusses the history of the vaccination and 5 different types of vaccines being developed for COVID19.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 4 - Low-Risk Summer Fun

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD talks about “fun” and “low-risk” things to do this summer during the #coronavirus pandemic.

Videos grabados de Coronavirus COVID-19 (español)

Dr. Sergio Jaramillo - Cómo mantener la calma si tiene insomnio durante el brote de COVID-19 (español)

La Dra. Adriana Arenas hablará sobre el papel del médico fisiatra en la comunidad. (español)

Keith Mortman, MD talks about a virtual reality rendering created to see inside a COVID-19 patient's lungs at the George Washington University Hospital. The patient is in his late 50s and the only underlying medical condition he has is high blood pressure. He was intubated and connected to a mechanical ventilator. There is rapid progression, and damage to the lungs. Young people are now becoming infected with COVID-19. Some are asymptomatic carriers and may not shows signs or symptoms of the disease. They can pass the virus on to other people they come in contact with.

Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT) for Respiratory Health

Presymptomatic coronavirus patients can spread the disease 1-3 days before showing signs

A new Centers for Disease Control report suggests that nearly 40% of Americans hospitalized (at the time of the report) were between the ages of 20 and 50. Numbers are changing fast as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads across the country, but the report’s findings are clear: Younger people must take this outbreak seriously, even if they feel healthy and immune to its effects.

Face Masks - Cloth Masks, Disposable Masks, N95 Masks

IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED
Masks are an additional step to help prevent people from getting and spreading COVID-19. They provide a barrier that keeps respiratory droplets from spreading. Wear a mask and take everyday preventive actions in public settings.
There are many types of masks you can use to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19. When choosing a mask, choose one that fits snugly. Learn more about how to choose a mask that fits well and offers the best protection here.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has suggested that people who wear contact lenses should switch over to glasses during the coronavirus outbreak.

Routine eye care procedures may be delayed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but treatment for eye emergencies is as important as ever. Don't delay calling your ophthalmologist or another medical doctor if you have an urgent eye issue. Here's how to tell.
Download a printable version of this article in English (PDF).
Descargue la versión en español (PDF).

A Message from our Doctors about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A message from Dr. Andrew Lerman regarding COVID-19

A message from Dr. Sergio Jaramillo regarding COVID-19

Infusion, Physical Therapy, and Teletherapy during COVID-19

TeleHealth and TeleVisit

Telehealth or televisit is a service provided by practitioners at First Choice Neurology. We offer a free, secure, and easy-to-use app Healow, for our patients to communicate with their doctor remotely (from your home) and manage your health care.

A televisit is the same as an office visit, except you are seeing your doctor virtually. Telehealth visits are covered by your insurance carrier as a routine visit with your doctor.

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