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Fabric masks don’t protect yourself or others from COVID-19

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We have been receiving queries pertaining to wearing of masks, particularly fabric masks and their efficacy in absorbing particles that cause respiratory infection.

It is common knowledge now that cloth face masks are a preventive measure with moderate efficacy in preventing the dissemination of respiratory infections caused by particles with the same size or smaller than those of Coronavirus.1 Therefore, the  claim that fabric masks do not work is false. Fabric masks also protect you and people around you from Covid-19.

The type of fabric used, number of layers and frequency of washings influence the efficacy of the barrier against droplets. Low coverage cloth face masks made of 100% cotton, scarf, pillowcase, antimicrobial pillowcase, linen, tea towel, and vacuum cleaner bag presented moderate protection in the process of absorbing the particles analyzed2, while high coverage cloth masks3made of HEPA washable vacuum bag, thick felted wool, cotton, heavy fabric, folded sock, cotton quilt, felt crafts, 100% nylon, denim, cotton jersey mesh, lycra, fusible interface, and lightweight shirt presented high protection.4,5

Studies have shown that most cloth masks present moderate absorption of micrometric and nanometric particles, therefore the filtering efficacy observed in these studies has been found to be similar to viral particles causing COVID-19.1

It is therefore true that use of masks – cloth and fabric ones as well, is recommended to the population, especially high coverage masks (more than one layer) due to their ability to provide greater protection in absorbing nanometric and micrometric particles, similar to the SARS-CoV-2 structure. Another recommendation is to discard and replace masks after the fourth washing cycle.1

Source:

1 De Souza L, et al. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2020; 28: e3353. doi: 10.1590/1518-8345.4537.3353
2 MacIntyre CR, et al. BMJ Open. 2015 Apr;5(4):e006577. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006577.
3 O’Kelly E, et al. MedRxiv. 2020 Apr; doi: 10.1101/2020.04.14.20065375.
4 Ngonghala CN, et al. MedRxiv. 2020 Apr; doi: 10.1101/2020.04.15.20066480.
5 Rodriguez-Palacios A, et al. Medrxiv. 2020 Apr; doi: 10.1101/2020.04.07.20045617.

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Coronavirus

As soon as you get vaccinated, you can get right back to normal life

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We at Health Patrol have been flooded with queries about how soon people can go back to their pre-COVID pandemic life after getting the vaccine. Two doses of vaccine, 28 days apart, are needed. This needs to be taken by all to complete the vaccination schedule. Protective levels of antibodies will generally develop two weeks after receiving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine. While the news is encouraging and Indian vaccination schedule has begun on 16th January 2021, experts still believe the pre-COVID times will take time to resume.

As we covered recently,a report1 published in the New York Times carried information stating the new vaccines will probably prevent you from getting sick with COVID-19, butno one knows yet whether they will keep you from spreading the virus to others so until that information is clear, it is pertinent to maintain the same social distancing, hand hygiene and mask measures, that we have been following since the pandemic, because some vaccinated people could get infected without developing symptoms, and could then silently transmit the virus — especially if they come in close contact with others or stop wearing masks.

Another report2 published in the Business Insider also emphasizes that avaccine is the first step to helping us return to pre-COVID normality, but it is still not the end-all. Experts have projected that aspects of pre-COVID life will begin to resume in spring 2021 and inch closer to the old normal by the year’s end.

If vaccinated people are silent spreaders of the virus, they may keep it circulating in their communities, putting unvaccinated people at risk.Experts are not yet sure how long the vaccine will be effective, and at this time the recommendation is to get both doses and then continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing and good hygiene.Moreover, trials that have been conducted on and around the vaccines have shown that the vaccine could prevent people from becoming sick, but whether people who have been vaccinated can still transmit the virus, is still not researched in detail.

Which is why eminent cardiologist and Padma Shree Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal emphasizes in each of his weekly shows that we need to continue with the social distancing and hygiene measures that we have been carrying out since the beginning of 2020. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare also states that after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, we must continue to take all precautions like use of face cover or masks, hand sanitization and ‘do gajkidoori’ – physical distancing of at least 6 feet.3

Health Patrol carried out an extensive report on wearing masks even after the vaccination. Access the report on https://healthpatrol.in/2021/01/13/do-i-still-need-to-wear-a-mask-after-the-vaccine/

Source

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/08/health/covid-vaccine-mask.html
2 https://www.businessinsider.in/science/news/what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-getting-the-coronavirus-vaccine/articleshow/79652928.cms
3 https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/FrequentlyAskedQuestionsonCOVID19vaccineFLWEnglish.pdf

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Coronavirus

COVID vaccines will make you sick

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No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in India contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. There are numerous COVID vaccines in development and each of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, but these are symptoms that are expected and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

The COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19 and efficacy results have been very promising for each of the approved and authorized vaccines thus far. Based on the current knowledge about the vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated yourself may protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, like patients with comorbid conditions, pregnant women, elderly and other at-risk population.

COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection, that is much needed now since COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is rare within the 90 days after initial infection.

However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

COVID-19 vaccination is a crucial tool to assist stopping the pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chances of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work along with your system to better fight the virus if you do get exposed. The combined effort of getting vaccinated and continuing to follow the social distancing and hygiene measures offer the most effective protection from COVID-19.

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Coronavirus

Surgical masks can be reused

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Most face masks available for public use, especially the surgical ones, are disposable and are for one-time use only. Ideally, face masks should not be used once they are soiled, or the inner lining gets moist. This is also important to note because masks can rarely be sterilized to a permissible extent. If you want to reuse fabric masks or surgical masks that are triple layered, it should be kept dry so that it can last long. Therefore, one way of ensuring this could be to properly wash it, disinfect it, dry it and only then reuse it.

Another important aspect of masks reuse is that they should never be drawn down to your chin, as is commonly seen in people either eating out, or driving or talking on the phone. Because they believe the mask is a hinderance for talking or eating, they draw the mask down and keep it on the chin, which is worse, because this would then let the germs on the face or chin be stuck to the mask and when you put the mask back on, the germs enter your nose and mouth.

In a recent session, eminent cardiologist and Padma Shree Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal spoke on the issue of reusing masks and that it is incorrect to remove the mask and keep in the pocket, as was seen in a news clipping of Donald Trump, the President of USA. For further details on this, please check the link here: https://fb.watch/2SBvyni1fx/

Health Patrol has covered masks usage in other news stories in further detail, which can be accessed on https://healthpatrol.in/?s=mask

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccine causes infertility

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We have been receiving queries if the COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility and a lot of these queries have come in from couplestrying to conceive or considering pregnancy and/or in vitro fertilization (IVF) and have concerns that the vaccines could impact fertility or lead to fetal loss. 

According to a report1 published in Forbes, WhatsApp forwards and social media links showed a relation between the spike protein formed by receiving the mRNA-based vaccines and blockage of a protein necessary for formation of and adherence to the uterus of the human placenta and because these were scientific animations and the use of a lot of scientific terms like the specific name of the protein, syncitin-1, placenta, antibodies, and sterilization, false claims sounding like science became science fiction quite quickly.

The good news is this is untrue.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During The Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, Update 11 from December 2020, “because COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not composed of live virus, they cannot cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second trimester loss, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies”.2 It should be noted that pregnant and lactating women were excluded from the initial phase III trials of the two vaccines approved so far, so specific safety data in these populations maynot be available yet but further studies are being planned. Nevertheless, the mechanism of action of mRNA vaccines and existing safety data provide reassurance regarding the safety of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy.3

More About Vaccine and Vaccination

According to the Centre for Disease Control, US, getting vaccinated is one of the many steps you can take as an informed and concerned citizen, to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.4This is especially important, because protection from COVID-19 does cause severe illness or death in complicated cases. COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. This pandemic calls for concerted efforts from all of us as responsible citizens to ensure healthcare workers are not overburdened by a callous approach to the virus.

Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks, handwashing and physical distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. 

Source

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2021/12/27/the-covid-19-vaccine-does-not-cause-infertility-heres-why-people-think-it-does/?sh=5e3474b268f5
2 https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/covid-19/covidtaskforceupdate11.pdf
3 US Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Letter of Authorization (https://www.fda.gov/media/144412/download).
4 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

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Coronavirus

COVID vaccines have too many reactions

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A vaccine reaction is an individual’s response to the inherent properties of the vaccine , even when the vaccine has been prepared, handled and administered correctly.

Vaccine reactions can be classified into minor or severe groups wherein the former includes reactions that occur within a few hours of injection and resolve after short period of time and pose little danger. These could include local (or localized) reactions such as pain, swelling or redness at the site of injection) or systemic reactions that include fever, malaise, muscle pain, headache or loss of appetite.

Severe reactions have not been seen yet with the Covid-19 vaccine and usually do not result in long-term problems but can be disabling despite being rarely life threatening. These may include seizures, resulting in convulsion, physical signs, thought disturbances, or a combination of symptoms. and allergic reactions caused by the body’s reaction to a particular component in a vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 31st December 2020 report, said that early safety monitoring has detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.1Moderna vaccine showed 11 cases of reaction to the vaccine in a million patients and these ranged from fever, redness, pain on site, etc.

Speaking on the subject, eminent cardiologist and Padma Shree Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal said that one needs to be cautious of COVID-19 and follow preventive measures, but you need not be confined indoors forever. In an informative session with audience asking him questions about the myths they would like clarified, or the hearsay about vaccines, Dr. KK discussed candidly how the inactivated vaccines in India, such as Covaxin can be administered even if they are in the trial stages. Further details about this session can be accessed at https://fb.watch/2SBvyni1fx/

Adapted from

1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html
2 https://fb.watch/2SBvyni1fx/

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