defense against COVID found to be even more effective

This simple defense against COVID found to be even more effective


When the COVID pandemic began, the original recommendation was that only people with COVID symptoms or COVID contacts needed to wear a mask. Then, when it was established that some people with COVID have no symptoms, but can still spread the virus, public health officials recommended masks for everyone. 

It was believed though that masks did not protect the mask-wearer so much, but was much more effective in protecting the others around you. But now, as researchers have more data, it seems that the person wearing the mask has a greater benefit than was originally thought. This is fortunate, and might stimulate people to use masks more faithfully.

How masks might help the wearer

The only type of mask proven to prevent the mask wearer from acquiring infection is the N95 mask, unavailable to the general public, and even in short supply for medical professionals. The reason that the N95 is superior is that it has openings small enough to block most virus particles (unlike cloth masks), and has a custom and secure fit to the face.

Dose of virus received is critical

Dr. Monica Gandhi, Director for AIDS Research at the University of California, San Francisco, explains that while homemade or standard “surgical” masks do not block 95% of the virus from coming in, they block enough to make a real difference. She mentions various studies that prove that the more virus inhaled, the sicker someone will get from the virus. 

If you breathe in a small amount of the virus, you might not get infected at all, or if you do, the infection will probably be relatively mild. If you inhale a large dose, you are more likely to get severely ill, or even die from COVID. A study published in 2015 gave volunteers various doses of an influenza virus. Those given higher doses got sicker, with more coughing and breathing problems.

We should all wear masks when outside

Multiple public health officials have promoted this idea. Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Center for Disease Control (USA), says “if we can get everyone to wear masks right now, we can bring COVID under control within four, six, or eight weeks”. 

If someone doesn’t want to wear a mask

You might ask them: would they be comfortable if they went into surgery for an operation, and the surgeon and operating room nurses were not wearing masks? Of course not. Mask wearing should not be a political issue. It is just a matter of common sense. If you care about your health and the health of other people, you wear one. Simply put: the longer people resist wearing masks, the longer the pandemic will last. 

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website:

See also in ProcuraMed:

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More people with COVID are surviving the ventilator

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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