Why don't you recommend using fabric covers before an omicron?
Given the growing impact of the omicron variant, which is more contagious than the previous coronavirus, including Delta, experts recommend using covers that provide greater protection, and avoiding those of fabric.
"Fabric covers are little more than facial decorations.There is no place for them with an omicron, ”said Dr. Leana Wen, a medical analyst at the CNN chain and a visiting health policy professor at the Public Health School of the Milken Institute of George Washington University.
"That is what scientists and public health officials have been saying for months, many months, in fact," he added in statements to CNN.
What covers use then?
"We need to use a cover of at least three layers", which are usually sold in pharmacies and stores."You can use one of cloth on that fabric covers, but not just that of cloth," he said.
Trish Greenhalgh, a British professor at Oxford University, agreed that most fabric covers are not functional connoisse.On the other hand, the double -layer, or the tricapa, he told Bloomberg, can be more effective.
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The National Biotechnological Information Center of the United States indicates that N95 covers are designed to catch more than 95% of aerosols, while cloths only catch around 50%.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out that “the effectiveness of filtration in fabric covers is generally lower than with medical or respirators, but they can provide some protection if they are designed and used correctly”.
In their most recent guide, the CDC still recommended to avoid the N95 and asked.But to say of Wen, that's a "big mistake".
"If we are going so far as to say that it is necessary.
He even stressed, in places with many people "KN95 or N95 should be used".By adjusting better and having materials such as polypropylene fiber, acting as mechanical and electrostatic barriers, these covers avoid better than others than small particles enter the nose or mouth.
Erin Bromage, associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, explained to CNN that "the main driver of Coronavirus infection is shared air".In that sense, although fabric covers can filter large drops, more effective covers, such as N95, they can filter both large drops and small aerosols or potentially loaded particles with viruses if there are people infected present.
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Why the omicron variant has managed to infect so many people is something that still needs to investigate more, he added, but evidence the role that the quality of the covers can play.
“Whether less virus is needed -to get infected -or that an infected person is expelling more viruses, the role of the cover is to reduce the amount you are breathing, and give you more time.If you need, to say, a thousand viral particles to infect yourself, and use a cover that reduces 50% the virus you breathe, then it will take double that you breathe those thousand particles.If you use one that is 90% effective, it will take at least 10 times more infecting yourself when you are close to someone infected ”.
The Mayo Clinic, a very recognized hospital based in Rochester, Minnesota, from last December 29 asks people who do not use fabric covers in their facilities, and patients and visitors who do not have one, provide them with surgical covers to enter."The covers of a layer, or the bandanas, which are frequently used, do not provide optimal protection".
José Molina Mora, of the Faculty of Microbiology of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), also condiser that the most effective covers are surgical and respirators KN95.In statements to the newspaper La Nación, from Costa Rica, he said that “indeed, there are [masks] that would be more appropriate because they have smaller pores, with more capacity to filter [or block the passage of] viral particles.In some countries, the use of KN95 on fabric has been promoted, before a stage of more contagios because there is a greater possibility that the virus reaches people by increasing exposure ”.
And he added: “Let's think of a strainer: he who has the largest pores will allow the passage of larger molecules.It is the same with fabric masks.The size of its holes, or pores, is greater than that of a specialized mask, such as the KN95, or surgical one, ”Molina added.
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Use them correctly
However, all experts warn that no covers, nor the most effective, will do if it is not used properly.
* The cover must cover completely nose, mouth and chin.Nothing should be exposed because by the nostrils, for example, they can enter or leave contaminated particles.
* The covers should not "swim" on the face.It should be well adjusted for any possible virus entry to be seal.In that sense, wearing one of fabric on top of a tricapa, a KN95 or an N95, would help to be better seal.
* In case of having to take off your covers, for example to eat, you have to keep it well.It is recommended to have a bag, and not leave it exposed on tables or surfaces.
* Among the inadequate practices of use are to lower the covers around the neck, let it hang from an ear or cover only the mouth.
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