Face masks have been the ubiquitous symbol of an outbreak that’s has sickened 35 million people and killed over 1 million. In health-care centers and hospitals, the application of high quality face masks immediately cuts down the transmission of the SARS-coV-2 infection. But, is it really true that face masks to prevent the spread of the deadly virus?
To find out, let’s first look at what SARS is and how the infection spreads from one person to another. SARS, or Staphylococcus aureus infection, is caused by infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. This is the same bacteria responsible for several other contagious diseases as well. However, in this case, they multiply rapidly, resulting in an infection that affects the lungs. The disease spreads to other persons infected in the same situation. These persons then become a source of secondary infections that spread throughout the community.
The rapid multiplication of the staphylococcus bacteria results in a “hot spot” in the respiratory system. It results in the generation of a build-up of fluid, which in turn is carried away in nasal and oral transmission. A “cooling spot” is created in the chest cavity and is transferred via breathing. This is the primary cause of the disease’s symptoms such as cough, fever and chills.
A problem that is encountered in a lot of the settings is the use of face masks that are too large. Such situations require the use of surgical face shields that are recommended by physicians and medical practitioners alike. Face shield manufacturers recommend using surgical grade cloth face masks that are specifically designed to prevent contamination of the patient’s nasal cavities. Using smaller or standard face shields will not do the trick in keeping bacteria from entering the patient’s airway.
Surgical grade cloth masks are recommended because they are made with thicker layers that can resist infection and result in faster and more effective transmission of the staphylococcus bacteria to the other person. The thick layers of materials also provide greater resistance to virus attacks. A thick layer of material will also impede the spread of the virus to the other person who shares the same room with the infected individual.
In the pandemic setting, it is vital for doctors and medical staffs to wear face masks that are specifically designed to combat the infection. These masks should be worn during all out-patient and in-hospital visits as well as at any other venue where the potential infection might occur. The wearer should also wear protective goggles or a face shield to protect his eyes while he is wearing the mask.