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Is my cloth mask enough to face the delta variant?




In recent months, some European airlines have The use of cloth surface covers has been banned Instead of controlling the spread of the coronavirus during air travel surgical mask — Sometimes referred to as medical or disposable — and N95 respiratory.

This is another salvo of debates over the effectiveness of ubiquitous masks, which became popular in the early days of the pandemic when it was difficult to find surgical masks and N95.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still promoting cloth face covering With guidance about masks.

And masks are still an important mitigation tool. Mainly infected SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19, is used by inhaling small aerosol particles that remain in the air and large respiratory droplets that are generated by coughing and sneezing.

But science is changing. Delta, now the major subspecies in the United States, is much more contagious than the original coronavirus, resulting in a higher density of virus in the air.

Some experts adjust their advice proportionally. “Given the Delta variant out there, you probably need to upgrade your mask.” Dr. Ashish Jar, NS Leading COVID expert The Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, Brown University “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month..

What type of mask do I need to wear?

Don’t worry if you get confused. Mask guidance has been mixed since the dawn of the pandemic, and new research has changed the way we think. We decided to delve into and organize the latest developments.

First, people were told that masking wasn’t necessary. Shortly thereafter, this recommendation changed, but due to the severe lack of such protective equipment, the general public was advised not to buy surgical masks for use by medical professionals. Instead, Americans were told to sprout for a cloth mask or make a self-made version. There is a CDC, but the shortage doesn’t seem to be a big deal so far. Still disagree N95 respiratory selection.

Just recently in late August, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top US infectious disease doctor, refused to recommend higher quality masks. “Don’t worry about what kind of mask, just wear a mask” He told “The Mehdi Hasan Show” on MSNBC..

So what does it give? Dr. Peter Chin HongFauci, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said he is taking a harm reduction approach. “Perhaps it’s more important to wear something that feels comfortable, and if you’re in a particular environment, you can wear it for a long time, rather than always having to wear a gold standard one. “He said.

“The baseline must be a surgical mask,” added Chin-Hong. “It’s easy to implement. It’s not always eco-friendly, but it’s cheap.” Personally, he only wears an N95 when a wildfire is on fire. “Even in hospitals, I mostly wear surgical masks,” he said.

He believes government and public health officials should emphasize wearing surgical masks, but Mr. Chin Hong said cloth masks can provide adequate protection in certain situations. For example, a fully vaccinated person is likely to receive adequate protection indoors by wearing a short cloth face cover when the venue is under capacity, he said. .. He provided these questions to assist in the decision-making process, as many are context-sensitive. Is the building particularly crowded when going indoors? How long are you in Is everyone probably masked? Are you and others around you fully vaccinated? Is your immunity weakened?

The more dangerous the situation, the more likely a high quality mask is the best option. “There is no zero risk, we just reduce the risk,” said Chin Hong.

Raina MacIntyre, Head of Biosecurity Research Program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, said: , Has done a lot of research on masks.

“It’s possible to design high-performance cloth masks,” McIntyre said. A laboratory study she co-authored We have discovered that a layered cloth mask can effectively block droplets.A study published in the journal in May ACS Biomaterial Science & EngineeringIt is recommended to use at least 3 layers (cotton / linen and polyester / nylon combination) to resemble the droplet blocking performance of a surgical mask.

Not only is layering important to improve filtration, but fit is also important.CDC Recommended Techniques for Improving the Fit of Cloth or Surgical Masks Tie the strap and push it in side.Masks are generally perfect If you feel warm air coming in from the front of the mask Inhale and exhale.

What do you say about research?

NS Large-scale real-world research has announced this The moon discovered a surgical mask that was particularly effective in reducing symptomatic infections. These types of masks prevented one-third of people over the age of 60 from getting infected.

Researchers at Yale University, Stanford University, and the nonprofit GreenVoice have monitored more than 340,000 adults in rural Bangladesh for at least eight weeks. About half of Bangladeshi people received interventions such as free mask distribution and publicity. In the villages that received the intervention, mask use surged from 13% to 42%. The same village has been reported to have fewer confirmed COVID infections and a lower incidence of associated symptoms.

It has been reported that the villages that distributed the cloth masks had an 8.5% reduction in symptoms and the villages that received the surgical masks had a 13.6% reduction. When one-third of adults with symptoms commonly associated with COVID agreed to undergo a blood test for the virus, researchers found a 11% reduction among those who wore surgical masks. Researchers have observed a 5% reduction in infections in people wearing cloth masks. This study was conducted before the delta variant was widely distributed in the country. This study has not yet been peer reviewed, Some experts We have already foretold the methodology and results.

“When I saw those results, I threw away the cloth mask,” he said. Stephen Ruby, Co-author of the study and professor of infectious diseases at Stanford University. “If the delta is circulating and you wear a mask, why not wear a mask that you can see from the data?”

“We have found very strong evidence that surgical masks are effective,” he added. Jason Abulk, An economist at Yale University who helped lead the research. “I’ve read that cloth masks are probably to some extent effective. They’re probably better than nothing.”

Avalak believes his study provides a variety of evidence for cloth masks, as only about one-third of those who report symptoms agree to a COVID blood test. In other words, the sample size was too small to observe what was important. “The most likely interpretation of this whole set of results is [cloth masks] Please help me actually. They actually make you less likely to get a COVID. As a result, I have fewer symptoms, “he said. The second possibility is that cloth masks prevent other respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, he said.

Multiple observational studies and trend analysis Community masking, including the use of cloth masks, has been discovered to reduce the prevalence of COVID. Researchers in Bangladesh’s studies have stated that these studies have drawbacks, so they conducted randomized clinical trials. For example, some of these studies looked at the aftermath of mask obligations, which are often combined with other COVID mitigation steps such as physical distance, so they could not observe the independent effects of masks in actual settings. .. However, they agreed with the overall assessment of those studies: those who wear masks are less likely to get infected than those who do not.

“This is the essence of science. Science evolves,” Ruby said. “There was some evidence of some protection from cloth masks, but there is new evidence of increased protection from surgical masks.”




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