Wearing a visor can it replace a mask?

Le port d’une visière peut-il remplacer celui d’un masque?

Photo: Cecilia Fabiano / Associated Press

Effective, the visor covering the entire face? The national public health Institute (INSPQ) has recently prepared a notice for workers outside of the health system, on the port of the visor and masks improvised. It is currently recommended to people who can not respect a distance of two meters with others in the course of their work to wear a mask during the procedure (the small masks are rectangular, which are not waterproof) and eye protection or a face shield. In the case of a potential problem of supply, the experts from the INSPQ asked — exactly as one of our readers — if a visor alone could do the trick.

In general, the visors are used in addition to a mask. Their format varies: some cover especially the upper part of the face, the other down to the chin and extend beyond the ears. The authors of a study cited in the opinion of the INSPQ, dating from 2014, and relating to the influenza, noted that the shields reduced significantly (96%-97%) exposure inhaled to the large infectious particles projected by a person coughing nearby — which represents a protection interesting from the contagion of SARS-CoV-2. However, smaller particles, more volatiles, could seep under the visor. In the case of the coronavirus, the possibility of transmission by these aerosols of less than five micrometers precisely because debate in the scientific community.

Other research, carried out for the medical (including dental), suggest that the protection offered by visors is incomplete. “It is difficult to extrapolate the results of studies evaluated in the context of potential exposure to the COVID-19 from individuals, asymptomatic or presymptomatic in environments outside the health sector,” writes the INSPQ. In conclusion, the port of the hood alone could be considered the “solution of last resort” if wearing a mask of procedure and glasses puts in danger the safety of the worker (in particular because of the creation of fog in the goggles) and that it would not otherwise any protective equipment against the contagion.

If you please, continue to write to us so we can share your questions on the COVID-19 to address coronavirus@ledevoir.com.

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