Just breathing or talking could spread coronavirus, Harvard doctor warns. All wearing face masks to be considered #COVID19 #coronavirus #USA #pandemic
Just breathing and talking can spread coronavirus, a renowned medical group warned the White House Wednesday night.
A leading member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and former Harvard School of Public Health dean, Dr Harvey Fineberg, told CNN that while surgical masks should be reserved for health care workers, he himself is going to be wearing a bandanna or other face covering.
Dr Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus task force member and leading infectious disease expert said that the subject of having Americans cover their faces in public is a ‘very active discussion’ among the committee.
Research remains mixed on whether surgical masks work as well as N95 respirators and whether cloth face coverings do much at all to prevent infection, but Dr Fauci noted that they might be protective, and certainly wont do harm – as long as medical workers have enough.
‘From what I’ve seen…I think that if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from healthcare workers who need them, I would lean towards it because I think that it – I mean, what – what harm can it do if you have enough masks?’ Dr Fauci told CNN.
Like most respiratory illnesses, coronavirus is spread in tiny droplets of moisture that carry virus particles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that are expelled when sick people cough or sneeze.
However, talking can send the droplets into the air too, Dr Fineberg told CNN. Even the breathe of a person with coronavirus could be dangerous.
‘While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,’ Dr Fineberg said.
The NAS letter to the White House noted research conducted in a Chinese hospital that found the virus can sent into the air and linger there when health care workers take of their protective gear and possibly as result of cleaning jostling the particles free, or even of movements.
Americans are now advised to stay more than six feet apart from one another to slow the spread of coronavirus, but studies from the University of Nebraska and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that the virus can travel much further.
‘If you generate an aerosol of the virus with no circulation in a room, it’s conceivable that if you walk through later, you could inhale the virus,’ Dr Fineberg said.
Dr Fineberg said he himself will begin wearing a mask in public as a precaution against contracting the virus, especially in relatively closed spaces like grocery stores.
‘I’m not going to wear a surgical mask, because clinicians need those,’ said Dr Fineberg, who is former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.
‘But I have a nice western-style bandana I might wear. Or I have a balaclava. I have some pretty nice options.’
Reports have emerged that the CDC – and the White House, as Dr Fauci disclosed – are considering.
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk