Is your face mask still effective because it still has COVID? Depends on the type you have



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Complete vaccination with COVID-19 significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from illness, but Shot does not completely eliminate the risk of infection.

As a result, healthcare professionals continue to encourage people to take other precautionary measures, such as wearing masks for extra layers of protection during a pandemic.

But over a year and a half later, what have scientists learned about the masks’ ability to control the spread of the coronavirus? And even with the emergence of more dangerous variants, are the types of masks initially recommended by health authorities still effective?

Advice on masks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took an unstable path earlier this year, when authorities announced that fully vaccinated people could throw away the masks in any scenario, and retrieve them “in a substantial way.” It is necessary to wear a mask indoors in a public space in a “typical” or high transmittance area. The CDC has updated its recommendations following an increase in coronavirus cases caused by delta variants.

Unvaccinated or weakened immunized people should continue to wear appropriate masks indoors in public. Masks are generally not needed outdoors, except in areas where COVID-19 cases are high.

In general, the CDC states that masks require two or more layers of “washable, breathable fabric” that completely covers the nose and mouth. It “fits perfectly to the sides of the face” and uses threads that bend over the nose to prevent air leakage from the top.

This criterion may include cloth masks. surgical mask, homemade and with transparent plastic panels, facilitate communication. CDC says fabric masks that make it difficult to breathe, exhalation valves or vents, and masks that use “surgical” or “medical” masks labeled N95 to prioritize healthcare professionals should be avoided . Declared.

Proceed carefully with homemade masks and cloth masks

If you decide to continue wearing homemade or fabric multi-layered masks, experts recommend washing them daily. However, please proceed with caution.

In a study published in July 2020, Respiratory Droplets After going through a homemade fabric mask, I moved about 2.5 inches, about 8 inches with a cone style disposable mask and a bit above of my feet with a handkerchief folded in the laboratory. However, with Bandana, the cough droplets moved about 3 feet 7 inches. It was the worst except without the mask, but it had the most thread count compared to the other blankets.

There are two tests that Dr. Roy Chemaly, an infectious disease specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, calls “flow and glow” to measure the quality of masks.

One is to hold a lit match or candle about 6 inches in front of your face and try to put it out while wearing a mask. If the flame goes out, you may need to upgrade your mask. Another test involves exposing the mask to bright light. If you look through it, your mask may not be thick enough to block respiratory droplets from other potentially sick people.

According to a September survey of around 350,000 people in rural Bangladesh, villages affected by surgical masks received COVID-19 in eight weeks longer than villages without masks. It turns out that the chances of developing it are about 11% lower. Protection for people over 60 has increased to 35%.

In villages with cloth masks, there were fewer cases of COVID-19 than in villages without masks, but researchers at Stanford University and Yale have found that surgical masks can filter bacteria better. According to the studies presented, he said, “the difference was not statistically significant.” However, the cloth masks reduced the likelihood that Bangladeshi residents would exhibit symptoms of coronavirus during infection.

“Our study provides strong evidence that wearing a mask can prevent the transmission of infection. [the coronavirus].. “It also suggests that filtration efficiency is important,” Dr. Stephen Ruby, study co-author and professor of medicine at Stanford University, said in a statement. Cloth masks are certainly better than nothing. But now might be a good time to consider switching to a surgical mask. “

It is important to note that surgical masks are not designed to be reused. “If it’s damaged or dirty, or if you have difficulty breathing through the mask, you will need to remove the mask, safely dispose of it, and replace it with a new one,” the US Food and Drug Administration said. -United.

Surgical masks can also lose their effectiveness over time. A study published in July 2020 found that even people with a mild cough can expel droplets up to 3 feet from their mouths due to internal pressure when wearing a surgical mask. paddy field.

Do you need a double mask?

When the delta variant began to dominate all other versions of the coronavirus in the United States, some People health experts suggested wearing two masks – a cloth mask over a surgical mask. The CDC has never officially mandated a double mask, but authorities have included it in their updated recommendations.

A CDC study published in February found that not only wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask, but also attaching an earring to repair the surgical mask exposes a healthy person to a risk of contracting coronavirus 95. It turned out to have decreased by more than%.

Some experts say it’s okay to wear both masks, however, as long as your only homemade fabric or surgical mask meets the standards set by the CDC, you should have some protection against coronavirus infection.

Evidence shows masks prevent COVID-19 and surgical masks are optimal

© 2021 McClutch Washington Office Library.
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Quote: Is your face mask still effective because it still has COVID? It depends on the type you have (September 23, 2021).

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Is your face mask still effective because it still has COVID? Depends on the type you have

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