Back in March, we answered top COVID-19 questions (https://youtu.be/MV55IHziLNI). A lot has changed since then, so here, Robin answered some additional questions.
Terms like social distancing, self-quarantine and pandemic are punctuating household conversations and raising pertinent questions. Robin Patel, M.D., President of ASM, Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology and Director of the Infectious Diseases Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN answers in an open interview about the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
From the Q&A:
1. What do we know about how SARS-CoV-2 is spread?
SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, is a respiratory virus; the primary way it’s transmitted is human-to-human. When an infected person talks, coughs, sneezes or simply breathes out, they release respiratory droplets into the environment. These droplets are laced with viral particles that can move on to infect others. There has been some evidence of airborne and surface transfer of SARS-CoV-2. In some cases, for example, viral RNA has been found in the air and on surfaces hours to days after contact with infected individuals. However, that RNA is not always infectious.
2. How effective are masks and when should I wear one?
We now understand that face masks do help control the spread of COVID-19; and, they should be worn.
There are a several types of face masks. It is currently recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC that the general public wear cloth face masks. These masks can block viral droplets emitted when the mask wearer speaks, coughs, sneezes or exhales. The CDC recommends that masks be worn by everyone to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by people who are infected but don’t realize it (since it’s estimated that there are many asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID-19 cases).
It is most important to wear a face mask in public settings when around people outside of your household, especially when you’re indoors or in places where it’s difficult to stay away from others. Be sure that your face mask covers both your mouth and nose and don’t touch your face mask while wearing it.
Wash your mask regularly in a washing machine and dry it in a dryer or by air drying.
Healthcare workers need additional protection with a medical mask or an N95 mask, depending on the situation.
To read the complete Q&A please visit: https://bit.ly/PatelCOVIDQA
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