Healthy people should wear masks only if caring for coronavirus patients

30 Mai, 2020, 02:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Healthy people should wear masks only if caring for coronavirus patients

Separately, the World Health Organization suggests that "wearing a medical mask can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19".

This method has been seen to be 79 per cent efficient at curbing transmission, however the masks should be used earlier than signs develop in anybody within the family who's contaminated.

This practice was 79% effective at curbing transmission before symptoms emerged in the first person infected, but it wasn't protective once symptoms had developed, the study shows.

"I think people in China have experienced SARS before and now SARS CoV-2, so probably understand the seriousness more than people from countries that have not had large outbreaks", MacIntyre told Xinhua.

"For example if they are a health worker working on a COVID-19 ward or a contact of a known case, it is possible to observe hygiene measures at home such as daily disinfection of commonly touched surfaces, wearing a mask and avoiding close contact", MacIntyre said. "In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to maintain".

The researchers wanted to know what factors might heighten or lessen the risk of subsequently catching the virus within the incubation period-14 days from the start of that person's symptoms.

A total of 77 adults and children were infected in this way, giving an "attack rate" of 23%, the researchers say.

There were 13 out of 36 children involved in the study who caught the virus compared with 64 out of 92 adults.

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The study found that 12 of the children had mild symptoms and one had none.

Mild symptoms were recorded in 83 per cent of the adults, while around 1 in 10 had severe symptoms and one person became critically ill.

Daily use of disinfectants, window opening, and social distancing of at least one meter apart were also associated with a lower risk of passing on the virus, even in more crowded households.

The study indicates that frequent contact in the household increased the risk of transmission 18 times and diarrhoea in the index patient increased the risk by four times.

They add that household transmission is a major driver of epidemic growth and the findings could "inform precautionary guidelines for families to reduce intrafamilial transmission in areas where there is high community transmission or other risk factors for Covid-19".

People wearing face masks wait outside St Thomas' Hospital.

"This study confirms the highest risk of household transmission being prior to symptom onset, but that precautionary [non-pharmaceutical interventions], such as mask use, disinfection and social distancing in households can prevent COVID-19 transmission during the pandemic", independent of household size or crowding, they write.

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