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CDC: Correct Double-Masking Raises COVID Safety

Feb. 10, 2021 — Carrying a tight-fitting surgical masks, or doubling up on masks, can considerably scale back COVID-19 transmission and sluggish the unfold of latest, extra contagious strains, in accordance with a CDC report launched Wednesday.

Researchers discovered that if two individuals are each sporting surgical masks which might be knotted and tucked flush to the face — or if each are sporting a fabric masks over a surgical masks — publicity to viral particles is minimize by greater than 95%.

“The information on this report underscore the discovering that good match can enhance general masks effectivity,” the authors wrote. “A number of easy methods to enhance match have been demonstrated to be efficient.”

A “simulated respiration experiment” reveals surgical masks on their very own block 42% of COVID-19 particles for the wearer, and fabric masks block about 44% of particles. Carrying a fabric masks over a surgical masks elevated safety for the particular person sporting the masks, blocking 83% of small particles.

Whereas different latest research checked out “masks fitters” — a band that goes over a masks to maintain it cosy to the face — and located they improved efficiency, the CDC stated it believes the most effective match comes from sporting a surgical masks lined by a fabric masks.

COVID deaths within the U.S. jumped in November and, although they’re declining, are nonetheless excessive. Officers have warned that the U.Okay.-based variant may finally turn into the dominant pressure within the U.S. by March.

These findings emerge amongst rising issues about three new, extremely contagious COVID-19 variants first recognized within the U.Okay., South Africa, and Brazil. All three have all made their approach throughout U.S. borders.

Concerning the brand new coronavirus variants, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, informed reporters at a White Home briefing Wednesday that the company at present estimates that 1%-4% of COVID circumstances within the U.S. had been brought on by the U.Okay. variant, also called B117.

On the masks examine, Walensky stated the science was already clear that masks necessities can lower COVID-19 infections and deaths. However, she stated, the brand new CDC analysis “underscores the significance of sporting a masks accurately and ensuring it matches carefully and snugly over the nostril and mouth.”

Walensky stated any kind of masks presents some safety, “and well-fitting masks supplied the best efficiency each in blocking emitted aerosols and publicity of aerosols to the receiver.”

Although little was identified about masks safety firstly of the pandemic, mounting analysis gives clear proof that they work nicely. A June paper within the journal Physics of Fluids defined {that a} cough could cause droplets to journey 12 ft inside about 50 seconds. With a correctly becoming home made cotton masks made up of a number of layers, these droplets solely traveled about 2.5 inches.

An April examine in Nature Medication discovered surgical masks drastically decreased transmission of each chilly and flu droplets. A January paper in TheLancet Digital Well being says a rise in mask-wearing in a group would greater than triple its chance of controlling COVID-19 unfold.

Lastly, a CDC examine launched this month discovered that from March 22 to Oct. 17, 2020, 10 websites in states with masks mandates reported a decline in COVID-19 hospitalization progress charges by as much as 5.5 proportion factors. Presently, there are greater than 40 states and territories with masks mandates.

To make sure correct mask-wearing, the CDC suggestions embrace:

  • Selecting a masks that has two or extra layers of washable, breathable cloth
  • Placing the masks over your nostril and mouth and securing it beneath your chin
  • Knotting the ear loops of a surgical masks, the place they connect to the masks, after which tucking in and flattening the additional materials near the face (knotted and tucked masks)
  • Becoming the masks snugly towards the perimeters of your face, and slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head
  • If it’s important to regularly regulate your masks, it doesn’t match correctly, and also you would possibly have to discover a completely different masks kind or model.
  • Carrying your masks beneath your scarf, ski masks, or balaclavain chilly climate
  • Holding a spare masks to exchange one which turns into moist
  • Storing moist reusable masks in a plastic bag till they are often washed

Medscape Medical Information reporter Ken Terry contributed.

WebMD Well being Information

Sources “Maximizing Match for Fabric and Medical Process Masks to Enhance Efficiency and Cut back SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Publicity, 2021,” “New Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19,” “Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Development Charges Related to Statewide Masks Mandates — 10 States, March-October 2020,” “Methods to Put on Masks.” “These States Have COVID-19 Masks Mandates.”

Physics of Fluids: “Visualizing the effectiveness of face masks in obstructing respiratory jets featured.”

Nature Medication: “Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks.”

The Lancet Digital Well being: “Masks-wearing and management of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the USA: a cross-sectional examine.”

MedRxiv: “Genomic epidemiology identifies emergence and fast transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 in the US.”

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