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CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster 114: Wear face mask at home; are patients with diarrhea super spreaders? |
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CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster 114: Wear face mask at home; are patients with diarrhea super spreaders?

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(With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev)

934: Wear Face Masks at Home if you deal with public AND are people with diarrhea super spreaders?

I have been talking about this and now a study has proven the same. During lockdown, wear mask when you go to buy essentials but after lockdown wear mask when you go for work involving meeting with public or colleagues.

Now a new study conducted in China suggests that wearing face masks at home considerably decreases a person’s risk of catching the coronavirus. This represents a major escalation from the common advice on the cloth coverings, i.e., they should be worn in public when it is not possible to practice social distancing.

Overall, 335 people from 124 families were interviewed in Beijing from late February to late March about their households during the pandemic. Each family had a confirmed case of coronavirus. There were four members in an average family, and most families had three generations.

According to the study, most person-to-person transmission occurred within households. Wearing face masks in the same house was found to be 79% effective at containing the transmission, but only before symptoms appeared. Wearing masks did not really help after the symptoms started.

Daily use of chlorine or ethanol-based disinfectant was noted to be 77% effective at checking the transmission in the household.

This study confirmed that the highest risk of household transmission was before symptom onset. Precautionary mask use, disinfection and social distancing in households can check the transmission of COVID-19.

BMJ Global Health published the study that stated that if the first person to get infected had diarrhea, the risk of transmitting the virus increased four-fold.

Close daily contact with the first infected person, such as eating meals or watching television together, seemed to increase the risk 18-fold.

In totality, the study supports the use of universal face mask, not just in public spaces, but also at home.

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO

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