WASHINGTON DC – In recent months, folks have seen many of iterations of face coverings in an effort to abide by numerous mandates related to COVID-19 within cities and states. One particular version that has been making the rounds is the translucent face shield similar in style to that of a welder’s mask.
Turns out, the CDC recommends not donning that version – and there’s research to suggest that it’s just not that effective at avoiding contracting the likes of COVID.
CDC Warns The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of face shields because “It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles.” https://t.co/aaHE1NLkXF
— Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, MD (@drrafael_md) July 18, 2020
According to the CDC, the likes of cloth face coverings and surgical masks (if available) are the go-to when trying to avoid contracting or spreading COVID. Yet, when approaching the topic of face shields, the CDC notes the following:
“It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings.”
#COVID19 is primarily spread via respiratory droplets from infected people
A face shield alone cannot protect you. Remember to always wear a face mask when in public places & maintain a physical distance of 2 meters
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) July 17, 2020
While the CDC does also provide guidance in getting the best bang for your proverbial buck if you so decide to adorn a face shield, the recommendation is pretty cut ‘n dry as to whether it’s the preferred means to avoid potential exposure or spread.
Furthermore, a study shared by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene did some research as to how effective face shields are when faced against the infamous respiratory droplets and the ilk we’ve heard some much about in recent months.
According to this study, the face shield begins to lose its efficacy when faced with coughs that contain smaller particles that can remain airborne as opposed to settling on surfaces:
“In the period from 1 to 30 minutes after a cough, during which the aerosol had dispersed throughout the room and larger particles had settled, the face shield reduced aerosol inhalation by only 23%.”
That doesn’t even take into account how effective a face shield is when someone wearing has their own coughing and sneezing fit – especially when they’re it is a “smaller cough”:
“When a smaller cough aerosol was used (VMD = 3.4 μm), the face shield was less effective, blocking only 68% of the cough and 76% of the surface contamination.”
In that study’s conclusion, while the authors acknowledged that a face shield can be beneficial in some scenarios and are certainly better than nothing, it simply doesn’t stack up to alternatives available when combating smaller particles that are floating in the air of when someone wearing one coughs:
“Face shields can substantially reduce the short-term exposure of health care workers to large infectious aerosol particles, but smaller particles can remain airborne longer and flow around the face shield more easily to be inhaled.”
In a nutshell, a cloth mask seems to be the way to go when trying to avoid spreading, or just flat-out avoid, COVID.
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As if we didn’t have enough to worry about as of late regarding COVID, Dr. Fauci said in late June that there may be another virus that could pose problems down the line.
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30th about what could be a new ‘problem’.
He said that there is a developing pig virus, known as “G4 EA H1N1” in China that shares similar traits with the 2009 Swine Flu and 1918 Pandemic Flu. The U.S. public health officials are apparently monitoring the disease.
At this time it looks like it does not infect humans but he says it has shown ‘reassortment capabilities’.
According to CNBCTV, scientists are concerned this new strain is spreading in pig farms in China and appears to have all the necessary trademarks of a pandemic virus.
Fauci says new swine flu found in China hasn’t been shown to infect humans, but it’s demonstrating reassortment, which could cause spread. Not an “immediate threat,” but “you always have the possibility that you might have another swine flu-type outbreak” https://t.co/vAOmsWGPI6 pic.twitter.com/FzrRnjVNz5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 30, 2020
Breitbart News reported that Dr. Fauci stated:
“The new swine flu found in China hasn’t been show to infect humans, but it’s demonstrating reassortment, which could cause spread. Not an ‘immediate threat’ but you always have the possibility that you might have another swine flu-type outbreak.”
He added that “a brand of new virus that turns out to be a pandemic virus it’s either due to mutations and/or the reassortment or exchanges of genes.
Dr. Fauci also expressed a great concern regarding the surge in the Chinese COVID-19 cases these past couple of weeks. He blamed states for reopening too soon and some American not adhering to guidelines that help stop the spread of the virus. He commented:
“We have got to get that message out that we are all in this together. If we are going to contain this, we’ve got to contain it together.” Dr. Fauci warned that “new cases could reach 100,000 per day if the trend isn’t averted.”
The federal and state officials blamed the increase in the COVID-19 spread on the younger generation, the millennials and the ‘Generation Zs’. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention commented:
“I ask those that are listening to spread the word, urging younger people to embrace the universal use of face coverings.”
CTV NEWS confirms that the pig virus is potentially harmful but at this point not an imminent threat but something we need to keep an eye on.
In a report by Salon.com, it was reported that veterinarians, farmers, and zookeepers could help prevent the spread of another pandemic. Paul Calle was quoted by salon.com as saying:
“People and animals and the environment are all closely linked and influence what happens to each other.”
Paul Calle is the head veterinarian at the New York City Zoo who is monitoring all the animals very closely.
Salon.com also reported that that more animal surveillance could help detect new diseases sooner and stop the spread to humans.
Vice President of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians commented, “we should be aiming to identify diseases in other animals as early as possible, when there’s still a chance of preventing them from spreading to humans.”
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