Given the new way of transmitting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, accepted, very cautiously, by the World Health Organization (WHO), by means of aerosols, which are fine particles that can be released when speaking or breathing through Asymptomatic infected people, the use of the mask generates less exposure to the virus. That is, if it is not used, mainly, in closed environments, it is more exposed.
A Nicaraguan economist who tracks the publications of the World Health Organization (WHO), points out that when a person infected with the virus speaks, sings, coughs or sneezes, drops containing the virus are emitted.
In its update, the WHO notes that “airborne transmission is defined as the spread of an infectious agent caused by the spread of droplet nuclei (aerosols) that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and over time.” It also notes that some reports of outbreaks related to crowded interior spaces have suggested the possibility of transmission of aerosols, combined with the transmission of drops, for example, during choir practice, restaurants or in gym classes, particularly if they were not taken hygiene measures and the use of masks.
Considering that asymptomatic people can transmit the virus, the WHO considers it “prudent” to encourage the use of cloth face masks in public places where there is community transmission and where other preventive measures, such as physical distancing, are not possible.
“Cloth masks, if properly made and used, can serve as a barrier to drops expelled from the wearer into the air and into the environment,” says the WHO. However, they warn that the use of the mask is not enough, but that it is part of a comprehensive package of preventive measures, which includes frequent hand hygiene, physical distance when possible, cleaning and environmental disinfection.
Risk of regrowth
The false calm of the pandemic has caused a good part of the population to minimize prevention measures, mainly the use of masks. The results, experts warned, could be worse than the May outbreak, when express burials and crowded hospitals were known.
The doctors consulted agree that there is a mistaken perception that the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, produced by Covid-19, has decreased in Nicaragua. Current conditions are more adverse than in May, explains Dr. Magda Alonso, who has attended suspected Covid-19 patients, virtually.
Alonso emphasizes that the virus does not move alone, it requires people to move, and currently the situation is more dangerous than at the start of the pandemic, when the population did not take action either, but at that time, the virus was not everywhere, as if it is now. In other words, at this time it is easier to mobilize it, he explains.
As of July 15, the Citizen Observatory states that the country has 8,508 suspected cases of the new coronavirus, coming from all the autonomous regions and departments. Community transmission has reached a large part of the national territory. However, the population has neglected the proper use or non-use of the mask, the use of a face mask or face shield, the use of alcohol gel, and the importance of the distance of two meters, mainly, in closed spaces.
This neglect of protection measures and greater recreational activities, such as attending bars, restaurants, sports activities, among others, could pass an expensive health bill to the country, which would be paid by the Nicaraguans themselves.
The public health specialist, José Antonio Delgado, explains that just as it happened in May, when the contagion containment measures were not taken, the population, now, has a very low perception of risk, and is not doing what is necessary to protect yourself. This could translate into a rapid increase in cases, of patients in homes, hospitals and deaths from Covid-19.
Until now the international scientific community works relentlessly to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus, which carries many enigmas about its behavior, one of them, immunity. Cases have already been recorded where the same person has been infected twice. A recovered patient, it seems, is always at risk.
In this regard, Alonso explains that several of the people seen on the streets, many without masks, are those who have recovered from Covid-19, and therefore exhorts the population to be more aware of their humanitarian responsibility and Social. In addition to the fact that these could become ill, they also function as vectors, that is, they are the vehicle of transmission of the virus that could infect their grandparents and relatives in general, when they return home.
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In an interview published by Voice of America (VOA), Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), confirmed that “the key is the mask”, given the risk from getting the virus at public events, concerts or political activities or churches. He considers closing bars, since they are places where people do not keep their social distance and do not wear face masks, he said.
“We have seen this in CDC mortality reports in cases of hairdressing employees who were infected, but they wore a mask and there were no transmissions. We have studies of contacts in family nuclei, or of someone who was infected in the family nucleus, but all used social distance, masks, washed their hands and we did not see any transmission. When they did not do any of this, the transmissions were 70% ”, reads the note published by the VOA, this July 15.
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Race for a vaccine
The health officer Delgado warns that the increase in cases may be more striking in departments, which probably to date, their health units have not been exceeded. Remember that there is an underreporting of infections and deaths by Covid that is not in the statistics of the Ministry of Health or those of the Observatory, and regretted that there is no reliable number of patients in homes, hospitals and numbers of deceased.
He recalled that people have to wear masks as well as maintain other prevention measures because the disease will stop until at least 70 percent of the world’s population is infected or when a vaccine is found. Neither possibility is a reality now, plus the first has a high cost of sickness and death.
Redfield assured the VOA that the key to a coronavirus vaccine is knowing how long your immunity will last, and that is still unknown.