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Doctors enthusiastically plead for the use of high quality masks: “protect yourself”

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After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Updated mask guidance To say that people “choose” to wear N95 and KN95 masks to increase protection against COVID-19, Dr. Michael Osterhelm is keen on the need to wear higher quality face covers. I talked to.

Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research Policy at the University of Minnesota, appeared this weekend to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the current Omicron surge. He said he was “happy” to see the CDC issue new guidance, but he thought the authorities could have previously proposed it.

“It’s too late. A year ago, they should wear N95 on a daily basis, and they knew there were a lot of N95 in this country, so we welcome the new news, but it’s certainly late. “I will.”

Portrait of a man wearing a protective face mask according to European health guidelines.Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty Images

“Second, the recommendations are what I call the most lukewarm. They mean you can wear them. I don’t think it’s right,” he continued. “I think you need to wear these. This virus is highly infectious and even a cloth mask is not enough to prevent it. My message is to wear an N95 that fits a tight face. It means that you can do a lot to protect yourself.

Initially, masks were not recommended for use with COVID-19 at all. In the early days of the pandemic, guidance was changed to encourage the use of cloth masks. This is because the encouragement of high quality face masks can lead to shortages that affect healthcare professionals.

Osterholm said it was not a concern at this time.

“You won’t rob them from other health care workers,” Osterholm said. There are many now. This is an important step in protecting yourself in addition to being vaccinated. “

A man wearing an N-95 style mask is resting near Times Square in New York City.Loy Roclin / Getty Images

Osterholm predicted that five weeks ago the world would experience Omicron’s “virus blizzard” as Omicron spreads faster than the Delta type. The country still sees more than one million cases a day, but he said there was some hope at the end of the surge.

“When I first proposed that this would be a viral snowstorm, it was about 5 weeks ago. This happens up to 8-9 weeks, and we say we’ve achieved that goal. “Osterholm said. ..

In the face of current surges and low pediatric vaccination rates, Osterholm is the best thing parents can do to keep their children safe and at school during this time to get them vaccinated as soon as possible. said. Currently, only 17% of eligible children between the ages of 5 and 11 are vaccinated, compared to more than 70% of adults.

“I think it’s a real concern,” he said. “What it really shows is that we’re having a terrible time turning vaccines into vaccinations … as the number of cases presented to young children’s hospitals has increased significantly, these We need to continue to emphasize the importance of getting a vaccine … please get your child vaccinated. ”

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