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UNM dean fields virus queries

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — To get more information about COVID-19, the Observer asked the University of New Mexico several questions.

Here are answers from Dr. Tracie Collins, UNM College of Population Health dean:

Q: Is there evidence of community spread of the novel coronavirus?

A: Yes, we now have cases of community-acquired COVID-19 infections.

Q: How does the rate of infections in New Mexico compare with other places, and with expectations?

A: Currently, cases are increasing daily, which is what we are seeing across the U.S. With social distancing and measures taken by leadership within the state, we hope to flatten the curve on new cases of infection.

Q: How long do symptoms of COVID-19 usually last?

A: The length of symptoms for persons with COVID-19 will vary by patient, and length of quarantine should be discussed with the patient’s provider. In general and based on current knowledge, at least three days should have passed since resolution of symptoms (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication) and improvement in respiratory symptoms, and at least seven days should have passed since symptoms first appeared. There are limited test kits available to also add testing as an additional measure to assess a patient’s status if he/she is under home isolation.

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