Tag Archives: Transmission

Covid-19: The Best Ways To Avoid Virus Transmission

https://sandpit.bmj.com/graphics/2021/transEmbed/index.html

Coronavirus/Covid-19: “Face Shields” Are Best In Preventing Transmission Says Epidemiologist

From web post by Michael B. Edmond (April 11, 2020):

Our goal should be to have a face shield for every person in the country. It should be worn anytime a person leaves their home, while in any public place, and even at work. From news reports, it appears that face shields are already being more commonly worn in other nations, particularly in some Asian countries. 

The advantages of face shields are their durability allowing them to be worn an indefinite number of times, the ability to easily clean them after use, their comfort, and they prevent the wearer from touching their face. Importantly, they cover all the portals of entry for this virus–the eyes, the nose, and the mouth. Moreover, the supply chain is significantly more diversified than that of face masks, so availability is much greater.

Some are critical of any strategy that isn’t perfect. But let’s think about the influenza vaccine. Although the effectiveness varies from year to year, on average it’s 40%. We push this vaccine hard in the hospital and in the community. Could we expect that face shields are at least 40% effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19? I think so. Universal shielding would bend the curve more quickly and accelerate the ability to reduce social distancing and restrictions on movement.
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Face shields are a simple solution that if implemented universally would have a major impact on public health. Until we have a vaccine, this may be our best intervention for preventing transmission in the community.
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Michael B. Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA is the Chief Quality Officer and Associate Chief Medical Officer for University of Iowa Health Care and Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He previously served as the Richard P. Wenzel Professor of Internal Medicine, Chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Hospital Epidemiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Health Update: Comparing “Coronavirus / Covid-19” And “Influenza” (W.H.O.)

From an MIT Technology Review article (March 11, 2020):

Here are six differences between coronavirus and the flu:

  • World Health Organization WHOCoronavirus appears to spread more slowly than the flu. This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The flu has a shorter incubation period (the time it takes for an infected person to show symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (or the time between successive cases). Coronavirus’s serial interval is around five to six days, while flu’s gap between cases is more like three days, the WHO says. So flu still spreads more quickly.
  • Shedding: Viral shedding is what happens when a virus has infected a host, has reproduced, and is now being released into the environment. It is what makes a patient infectious. Some people start shedding the coronavirus within two days of contracting it, and before they show symptoms, although this probably isn’t the main way it is spreading, the WHO says.
  • Secondary infections. As if contracting coronavirus wasn’t bad enough, it leads to about two more secondary infections on average. The flu can sometimes cause a secondary infection, usually pneumonia, but it’s rare for a flu patient to get two infections after the flu. The WHO warned that context is key (someone who contracts coronavirus might already have been fighting another condition, for example).
  • Coronavirus Protection from getting sick W.H.O.Don’t blame snotty kids—adults are passing coronavirus around. While kids are the primary culprits for flu transmission, this coronavirus seems to be passed between adults. That also means adults are getting hit hardest—especially those who are older and have underlying medical conditions. Experts are baffled as to why kids seem protected from the worst effects of the coronavirus, according to the Washington Post. Some say they might already have some immunity from other versions of the coronavirus that appear in the common cold; another theory is that kids’ immune systems are always on high alert and might simply be faster than adults’ in battling Covid-19.
  • Coronavirus is far deadlier than the flu. Thus far, the mortality rate for coronavirus (the number of reported cases divided by the number of deaths) is around 3% to 4%, although it’s likely to be lower because many cases have not yet been reported. The flu’s rate is 0.1%. 
  • There is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Not yet, anyway, although work is under way. There is, however, a flu vaccine—and everyone should get it, not least because being vaccinated could help lessen the load on overstretched medical services in the coming weeks.

Read WHO report

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