Preventive healthcare: Face mask vs. Coronavirus
One of the deadliest diseases to outbreak at the start of the new decade is the novel Coronavirus a.k.a Covid-19. The Virus has spread to 140 countries as of March 2020. World health organization has issued a high alert all around the world for protection and prevention against the disease.
Covid-19 has stirred panic amongst the people. The fear of the pandemic has led the public to believe misguided information. People are clueless about the scientific facts regarding coronavirus. And I believe they should know it what they’re dealing with face-front.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A coronavirus is a group of viruses that affect the upper and lower respiratory tract, causing flu-like symptoms. Covid-19 is the new and the most advanced form of the Coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus outbroke in China and has now spread to 140 countries. Covid-19 has a mortality rate of 3.4% (estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a briefing on March 3)
So, is the new Virus Deadly?
According to the latest statistics, Covid-19 has affected 202,259 people worldwide. Out of these, 8010 people have died while 82,813 cases have been recovered, and 111,436 cases remain active.
Although the recovered cases are eight times more than the deaths caused, the rate is still alarming. Considering the short span in which these deaths were caused—also the mild symptoms which led people to ignore the severity of Covid-19.
But, the matter of concern is the rapid spread of the disease. The Virus showed to transfer from air droplets. Therefore the earliest prevention of Coronavirus suggested the use of face masks. And it was no surprise that very soon, the masks went out of stock.
So, can a face mask stop Coronavirus?
If we talk about surgical masks, the answer is no. These masks are not enough to stop the Coronavirus.
There are two reasons for this. First, surgical masks do not filter viral particles. Second, the Virus can still transfer through eyes and other routes.
The best mask for the coronavirus is the Particulate respirator type N-95, which can filter viral particles. Hence give protection against Covid-19. However, medical experts have not recommended their public use yet. They cause difficulty in breathing and can not be worn for long times.
However, some studies suggest wearing a surgical mask is better than wearing no mask at all. This is especially advised when you are showing flu-like symptoms. Also, when you go out in public.
Health experts have focused more on other preventive measures. WHO recommends the use of masks for healthy people, only when they are taking care of a suspected Covid-19 patient. In another case, for people who are sneezing. WHO also says that masks are useful only in combination with frequent hand-washing. Hand cleaning through soap and water and use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Also, one must learn how to wear a mask properly. Not only this, but they should also even know how to dispose of these masks properly.
Also, more important than it is to take care of your hygiene. Most important is to practice social distancing.