Experts have recommended face masks as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus; the wearer of a face mask can protect bystanders because the mask blocks airway droplets that have been identified as the primary means of transmission of COVID-19. But could wearing a face mask also protect the wearer? This is an opportunity, according to a new article by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and John Hopkins, which will be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The article draws on “virological, epidemiological and ecological evidence” to suggest that wearing a face mask may result in a lower “dose of virus” or coronavirus particles for the affected consumer. According to several studies cited by researchers, a lower dose of the virus may cause less severe symptoms, such as COVID-19, or no symptoms at all.
One cited study, published in May, was tested with coronavirus and hamsters. Researchers in China installed hamster cages, some infected with coronavirus, others healthy, and separated both groups with partitions of surgical masks in some cages. Citing this study, researchers at UCSF and Johns Hopkins noted that healthy hamsters “were less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 infection through the septum of a surgical mask” and those with a milder infection compared to their “unmasked” peers.
The researchers also reviewed extensive coronavirus data obtained before and after face masking. During the preliminary review, they noted that 15 percent of COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic. In the latest review, that number rose to 40 to 45 percent, and the CDC agreed that asymptomatic infection is about 40 percent. This story also worked in a closed cruise ship environment. March. The cruise ship Diamond Princess is estimated to have an asymptomatic infection rate of about 18 percent. During the subsequent cruise, all passengers and crew were given masks when a positive case was found on board. While 128 of the 217 passengers tested positive, 81 percent. They remained asymptomatic.
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Although this evidence is circumstantial, the researchers relied on the hypothesis that face masks may have an effect in increasing the number of asymptomatic cases, which, while dangerous for the spread of the virus, could help communities achieve herd immunity without major cases.
They suggest it could be even more. Again, noting that the evidence was indirect and likely influenced by a number of factors, the researchers noted, however, that countries with masquerading population levels were more successful in reducing deaths from COVID-19. “Indeed, even in cases where camouflage has resumed in these locations (e.g., South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan), case mortality has remained low when opened but masked,” the researchers wrote. . . Their argument is that masking can not only lead to a higher incidence of asymptomatic coronavirus but also ultimately reduce the number of deaths.
Again, asymptomatic infection is a double-edged sword. It could increase the spread of the virus, the researchers wrote, but at the same time, “exposure of the public to SARS-CoV-2 without unacceptable consequences for serious diseases … may lead to greater immunity at the community level and slow its spread as we wait for the vaccine.” They add that “masks, depending on the species, filter most but not all of the virus particles,” increasing the chances of a less dangerous and severe asymptomatic infection.
Most of the evidence presented does not establish a limited and dry cause and effect correlation between masking and lower virus dose, nor between masking and asymptomatic infections. In a New York time In an article about this article, some experts were cautious about the findings, while others said it was “entirely meaningful” that masking would protect the wearer to some degree. Although more research is needed to eradicate the findings of UCSF-Johns Hopkins, this paper provides another motivation to continue camouflage: not only does it protect others, but it can also give you more security because you wear a mask as well.
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