Wearing a mask is it required for all?

The director-general of the chinese Center for control and prevention of diseases, George Gao, recently launched a keypad in the mare by saying in an interview granted to the magazine Science that ” the great error committed in the United States and Europe is that people do not wear mask.” In many countries of Asia, such as China and South Korea, the public authorities were encouraged, even urged, in the population to wear a mask at its output to the outside.

By contrast, the world health Organization and public health authorities in canada and québec, or the american, recommend up to now that only persons with respiratory symptoms of the COVID-19, as well as those who take care to wear a mask.

According to Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, a microbiologist infectiologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine, ” the wearing of the mask, it all depends on the context. The great outdoors, outside, when there are few around and that the separation physical of at least two meters may be used, the mask is not necessary. Even a person présymptomatique should not be able to infect you. In this context, hand hygiene is still important. However, in places where several people come together, such as in a hospital, and where it is impossible to maintain a distance of two metres at any time, given the risk of transmission phase présymptomatique or asymptomatic, the mask for all is a strategy which will decrease the risk of infection of health care professionals “.

The dashboard on the evolution of the coronavirus in Quebec and in Canada

“Certainly, the protective equipment, such as mask, can help [anyone]. If you wear a mask when we go out, it protects and prevents the transmission of the virus by asymptomatic persons. However, a massive use of the mask by the population would impede the ability of the medical staff and other essential services to protect themselves by lack of equipment, ” says Benoît Mâsse, a professor at the School of public health of the University of Montreal.

“The government tells us that this is not an effective way [to protect us from contamination by an infected person] offends our logic. In my opinion, [by the speech], it tries as well to preserve the stock of the medical staff and essential services, as well as for the most vulnerable, and this is very understandable “, he adds.

According to Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, who gave an interview to the journal Science, it is very likely that a mask will protect a healthy person of the infection. “It does not make sense to assume that surgical masks are really important for health care workers but that they are not useful at all for the public at large, lance-t-il. The masks are probably more effective at preventing infections in hospitals than in the public, in part because health workers have received training on how to wear them and because they take other protective measures, such as hand-washing and methodical. “

Of course, the port mask is used to prevent that an infected person infects healthy people she meets, of where the setpoint of book the port of the mask to the people infected, which, moreover, should not get out of the house. But as it appears now clear that the COVID-19 may be transmitted prior to the onset of symptoms and that some individuals will have no symptoms during the disease but they will nevertheless be contagious, the mask-wearing by the general population, could probably reduce the transmission community, say the authors of a commentary published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

This group of experts also says that wearing a mask for all should only be considered if reserves are sufficient. “The health authorities shall first of all give priority to health care workers who are on the front line, as well as to the most vulnerable populations who are most at risk to infections and likely to die if they are infected, that is to say persons aged 65 years and older and those with chronic diseases. “

These same researchers believe that it would also be proper to recommend to persons in quarantine to wear a mask if they must leave the house in order to prevent any transmission in the case where it may be asymptomatic or presymptomatic.

There is nothing to prevent people making a fabric mask, Dr. Arruda has even mentioned a few days ago. “The cotton seems to be adequate. Studies that have looked at the different materials show that all fabrics (cotton, dishcloth, cotton fleece, towel) have a certain filtration capacity, although often less good than the mask of internationally recognized procedure, ” says Dr. Quach-Thanh.

But don’t that this accessory provides a sense of security. There is nothing safer than staying at home and continue to practice social distancing. These two instructions must continue to be met.

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