COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?
Get answers to your questions about face masks, including how to use them properly.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Can face masks help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes, face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the disease.
So why weren't face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic? At that time, experts didn't yet know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don't have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.
These discoveries led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to do an about-face on face masks. The CDC updated its guidance to recommend widespread use of simple cloth face coverings to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 by people who have the virus but don't know it.
Some public health groups argue that masks should be reserved for health care providers and point to the critical shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks. The CDC acknowledged this concern when it recommended cloth masks for the public and not the surgical and N95 masks needed by health care providers.
How do the different types of masks work?
The results of a Spanish study on Covid-19 immunity have a scary takeaway
One of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world isnt anything close to a worst-case scenario.
By Matthew Yglesias@email@example.com May 16, 2020, 10:00am EDT
Preliminary results from a well-designed survey of antibody presence among Spaniards suggest that even as the Spanish outbreak exploded and then was brought under control, only 5 percent of the countrys population has been infected with the coronavirus so far. This means that the vast majority of the Spanish population remains susceptible to infection if the lifting of restrictions there leads to a new spike in cases.
The message to the rest of the world is that as awful as the pandemic has been in Spain where more than 27,000 people have died, a far higher per-capita death rate than in the US or even Italy its not even close to an upper limit on how bad things can get.
Serology surveys, explained
When people talk about coronavirus testing, they usually mean a test to detect the presence of the virus in your body and to determine whether you need to isolate.
Either people die from the virus or the economy crashes and they die from poverty. But there is a third option. Pay for certain sectors to stay home and fund it by taxing the absurdly wealthy. Not too much different from the New Deal which along with WWII Gov. spending created the greatest middle class in American history after the Great Depression. The 1% owns about 34 trillion currently. https://usafacts.org/articles/wealth-america-how-it-has-grown-and-how-it-distributed/
If Democrats can win all three branches of Gov. this would be a great opportunity for another New Deal economy.
I had seen just one too many right wing conspiracy theories going after Bill Gates and the CDC.
There seems to be a lot of distrust for the CDC and Gov. agencies. I can understand that these agencies are not perfect but keep in mind that because of the CDC and health agencies in every country along with all the scientific advances because of Gov. funded research, we have eliminated a huge number of extremely dangerous diseases that 100 years ago killed millions every year. These agencies are constantly monitoring new diseases popping up and working on treatments. Without them we wouldn't even know what coronavirus was. It would just be some strange new disease ripping through the world exponentially. Average lifespans in 1850 was 40 years. Yes we have lost some conveniences with this outbreak and the response but because of science and because Government agencies are protecting and looking out for us we can now enjoy 40 more years of life than back in 1850. See how we would fair if we do away with the CDC etc. now. I don't know about you but I don't want things to go back to what they were like 150 years ago. Maybe we need to be a bit more appreciative of the tens of thousands of people who generally enter these kind of fields because they are good, decent people who want to make a difference and they protect all of us every day. My hats off to them! See chart showing life expectancy in the US by year.
Hoping to point way to drug therapy, Weizmann team says it found cells called in to fight coronavirus in lungs may actually worsen disease, sparking storm that can lead to death
By NATHAN JEFFAY
14 May 2020, 6:33 pm 4
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the greatest mysteries to confound researchers has been figuring out why the disease leaves some people almost completely unharmed, while others suffer serious conditions and die.
The answer, according to Israeli scientists, is that lungs of the worst-affected patients become riddled with immune cells that exacerbate the pathogens impact instead of fighting it. In patients who are less affected by the disease, this doesnt happen, says the team from the Weizmann Institute of Science.
In most cases the immune system helps recovery, said Amir Giladi of Weizmanns Department of Immunology. But for some reason, and this represents the real mystery of coronavirus, this is turned around, and the immune system is not your helper, but rather makes the disease more intense.
He is part of a Weizmann team that set out to pinpoint when things start to go downhill for the worst-stricken patients, hoping that drug companies will be able to use their research to develop therapies to stop the disease.
The pharmaceutical industry is currently struggling to understand the best way to counter COVID-19s impact, but Giladi is hopeful that his research will move things forward by providing a target in the body for intervention.
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