General, Research, Technology

Face mask may increase the risk of coronavirus infection

The situation with the new coronavirus is rapidlydeveloping. The number of infected people is growing all over the world, and reports of the first confirmed cases in different countries are received around the clock. Thus, recent infections have been confirmed in Latvia, Moscow and Indonesia. Given the pandemic nature of CoVID-2019, a lot of different information about the outbreak is distributed on social networks, including the need to wear face masks. A face mask is a natural reaction to a strange, new disease. However, many experts believe that buying it only reduces anxiety. But why?

Protective masks are first of all necessary for doctors and health workers

When should I wear a mask?

Even if a coronavirus is found in your neighbor,wear a mask only if you are ill yourself. No masks, even the most sophisticated ones, will help you protect yourself from the virus. As infection prevention specialist Eli Perensevich, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, told Forbes, masks are not only unnecessary, but they should not be worn. There is no evidence that wearing masks protects healthy people. In addition, the vast majority simply do not know how to wear masks. And many people completely forget that during epidemics it is better not to touch your face.

The mask should only be worn if you are sick.

If you have the flu or a new coronavirus and needleave the house, then the mask will not infect others. If you are sick at home and do not want to infect loved ones, wear a mask. However, if you are caring for someone with CoVID-2019, it is wise to wear a mask when you are in the immediate vicinity of this person. Moreover, the patient himself must also be in a mask. The fact is that medical respirators protect the wearer from the disease and the patient from germs. People who wear medical respirators have been trained and know how to wear them correctly to protect themselves and others. But no matter how well the respirator seals the face and how effective the filter material, it is necessary to take into account the fact that a small leak inside any respirator is possible. So the risk of infection cannot be completely ruled out.

You can wear a mask no more than three hours

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Moreover, improper use orRemoving the protective mask can increase the risk of infection, since the mask, when mistreated, literally captures everything that you are trying to avoid. And many people end up absent-mindedly touching their face. Actually, wearing a mask is difficult because it can create a false sense of security. If you don’t wash your hands before removing the mask and after removing it, you increase the risk of infection. Even if you think that you will be careful enough and confident in the correct use and disposal, the purchase of a large number of protective masks in the conditions of the existing deficit significantly complicates the work of hospitals and medical workers who really need them.

How to really protect yourself from COVID-19?

You already heard it again and again, but the bestA way to protect yourself from coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Coronavirus is the so-called shrouded virus, the outer layer of which has a lipid membrane - the outer layer of fat. Washing hands with soap and water has the ability to dissolve this fat layer and kill the virus. During the epidemic, wash your hands before and after meals and try to train yourself not to touch your face, especially your mouth and nose. Also carry a hand sanitizer with you in case you cannot reach soap and water after touching your face or other surface infected with germs (such as a door handle).

It is interesting: Hands from the point of view of science. How to wash them?

Wear a mask only if you are sick

You can also protect yourself withsocial distancing: if you see someone coughing, sneezing or looking sick, stay a meter away. We remind you that the World Health Organization (WHO) previously issued official recommendations on how not to get a new coronavirus.

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What should I do if my immunity is weakened or if I travel to infected regions?

If you have weakened immunity or you enterrisk group - you need to talk with your doctor about whether to wear a protective mask in public places. However, as a rule, social distance and frequent hand washing are the most important and effective remedies.

So it makes no sense tobuy masks in pharmacies, but there are things that can help prepare for an outbreak in your city. First, make sure that you have a supply of necessary medicines for several months. Secondly, think about the necessary food and personal care products. And in more detail about what actions need to be taken in case of a pandemic, read our special material.