Masks or screens for the face: which protects against coronavirus more effectively
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say tissue facings can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, but many people don't like to wear them. Masks have become the main method in the effort to combat the pandemic, with some people claiming that they cannot breathe in masks. Writes about it NBC News.
But what about face screens? Health workers have long used them as protective equipment.
New York State views face screens as an alternative to masks.
“People who wear homemade fabric face masks constantly touch their face to correct them, and we know that touching the face is one of the infection mechanisms,” says Dr. Amesh Adaglia, senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University Center . “When you wear a face screen, you are less likely to touch the face.”
Adalya said the screens are also more comfortable for breathing and talking.
“They do not interfere with your mouth, and you talk and breathe as usual. People subjectively feel impaired when they put on a mask, and they feel less comfortable when breathing in a mask, ”he said.
Dr. Eli Perensevich, an infectious disease doctor and professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, has co-authored an article in the journal of the American Medical Association that the use of face screens should be expanded from clinical conditions to society.
According to Perensevich, unlike masks that help prevent users from spreading COVID-19, firewalls also protect those who wear them from infection.
He cited a study that says face shields reduce the inhalation of the flu virus.
A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Occupational Health and the Environment analyzed how well face masks block aerosol drops. Using cough simulators, researchers found that face shields reduce the effects of inhaling cough drops by 96%.
But the author of the study, William Lindsley, a biomedical engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said the general public should stick to face wraps.
“A fabric mask or medical mask will protect you from smaller particles than a screen,” said Lindsley. - The shield is good against really large particles that you can see. But when they get smaller and smaller, it's very easy for them to get around the screen. ”
Despite this, Perensevich said that screens should not be discounted.
“Masks are a source of control that protects others, while screens are a source of control and protect yourself from drops falling anywhere on your face,” Perensevich said.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in close contact with patients use face shields and N95 masks to prevent droplets of the virus from entering the eyes.
“If the virus enters your eyes, your conjunctiva, it can then pass through the lacrimal ducts and enter the lungs and thus cause infection,” Perensevich said.
A meta-analysis published in The Lancet showed that eye protection can significantly reduce viral infections in healthcare facilities. But for the average person who practices social distance, there’s no need to wear a screen, says Dr. Bruce Polsky, an infectious disease specialist who is the chairman of the medical department at Winthrop Hospital, New York University.
Now that cheap first-aid kits are sold in pharmacies and stores, some may wonder if some models are more effective than others. According to Perentsevich, the effectiveness of the protective screen depends on its design.
“Those that cover the bottom of the chin and ears give more protection than those that are more open,” he said.
Despite differences of opinion on what is most effective, experts agree that face closure is only one aspect of preventing the transmission of coronavirus.
“It's like you're in a boat, and there are four or five holes in the bottom,” said Lindsley. “You can't just close a couple of holes because you will drown anyway.” We need to close everything together. ”
Dr. Daniel Dikema, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, is another contributor to JAMA.
“All types of facial coatings are just one approach to prevention, which, as you know, should not replace or reduce the importance of physical distance, and perhaps most importantly, eliminate close contacts in a room where crowding is observed,” he said.
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