Running head: EFFICIENCY OF A MASK IN AVERTING COVID 19 1
EFFICIENCY OF A MASK IN AVERYTING COVID 19 7
Efficiency of a Mask in Averting COVID 19
Effectiveness of the Face Mask Against COVID 19
The Coronavirus 2019 is a disease that affects the respiratory system of an individual making it difficult for them to breathe and can be fatal to the affected individual (Di Gennaro et al., 2020). According to scientists Coronavirus disease, 2019 is a communicable disease which is caused by the coronavirus strain. As a result, this disease is transmitted through contaminated air droplets which can be dispersed from person to person through; coughing, sneezing, or through touching or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces (Di Gennaro et al., 2020). It takes fourteen days for the symptoms of COVID 19 to manifest. Within this period the disease is still transmissible thus increasing its infection rate.
The Coronavirus 2019 has no cure or vaccine thus making it quite dangerous. Currently, the global statistics of individuals infected with COVID 19 stands at 34,666,560, and coronavirus 2019 related deaths stand at 1,029,394 as of October third, 2020 (Worldometer, 2020). Its high transmission rate and the death rate has quite an effect on the health and quality of life of many individuals. Which consequently affects the health sector as it overwhelms it. This is why scientists and experts have developed preventive measures in the form of safe health practices to help control the spread of the virus.
One of these safe health practices is the use of face masks. Given that the Coronavirus disease 2019 is transmitted through contaminated air droplets that come from the nose and mouth regions a face mask is quite significant in controlling the spread of this disease (Di Gennaro et al., 2020). Also, the virus that causes the disease accesses the body through the oral and nasal regions. Therefore a face mask helps in curbing the spread by working as both an internal and external shield against the Coronavirus 2019.
The hospital setting is where the bulk of Coronavirus cases are handled (Wong et al., 2020). Even though special segmentations have been made as well safety measures have been taken to keep the initial occupants and the doctors in the hospitals safe from transmitting the virus, they are still at risk of infection. This, therefore, leads to the question; does wearing a mask reduce the risk of a patient in hospital from contracting COVID-19, 14 days after coming into contact with an infected patient? This article aims to answer this question using data from affected hospitals as it addresses the importance of face mask in the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019.
Association Between Universal Masking in a Health Care System and SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Among Health Care Workers
This study conducted by, Xiaowen Wang, Enrico G. Ferro, and Guohai Zhou (2020) focused on the infection rate of COVID 19 among healthcare professionals. The purpose of their study was to investigate the association of the infection rate of Coronavirus 2019 in relation to the wearing of masks. The study, therefore, sought to support or deny the hypothesis that masks reduce the rate of COVID 19 infection. The variables for this study entailed the number of infections as the dependent variable alongside the population of masked healthcare workers as the independent variable. The study design entailed a case-control study conducted for over two months. During this period there were three phases, including; pre-mask intervention for health providers, implementation, and post-application of the masking of health care professionals. The study involved 12 health care institutions in Massachusetts, within which over seventy-five thousand health care professionals were involved ((Xiaowen et al., 2020)). The data was collected from the Mass General Brigham Occupational Health Services and Human Resources Database. The data amassed from this study were analyzed using the weighted non-linear regression. The results indicated a significant increase in the infection rate of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 among the health care providers from zero to 21.32%. Once masked were introduced, the study indicated a major decline in the positivity rate to 11.46% from 14.65% ((Xiaowen et al., 2020)).
Mask Use During COVID-19: A Risk-Adjusted Strategy
This publication facilitated by, Jiao Wang, and his colleges address the lack of agreement across different cultures on the impact of wearing masks in curbing the spread of Coronavirus 2019 (2020). The purpose of conducting this study is therefore to elaborate on the transmission paths for the COVID-19 virus and express the relevance of wearing face masks in curbing its transmission within any setup. There were no variables since the study was qualitative. The study design involved research collected from peer-reviewed articles pertaining to the spread characteristics of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 that causes COVID-19. After reviewing over twenty peer-reviewed articles the authors of this study established that the use of masks was quite fundamental in reducing the risk of Coronavirus 2019 infection (Jiao et al., 2020).
In both appendices, the use of face masks as a measure taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is the main focus. However, bother studies take a unique approach in addressing the matter. The study in Appendix A entails a controlled case study experiment conducted on the healthcare professionals in 12 hospitals within Massachusetts (Xiaowen et al., 2020). Here the main variables include the infection rate and the population of masked health caregivers. The study in appendix B on the other hand has no variables but rather focuses on other scholarly articles on the different aspects of the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 as well as the impact of mask-wearing in the control of this spread (Jiao et al., 2020).
Xiaowen’s study entails a quantitative approach whereas Jiao’s paper approaches the topic using qualitative data. The quantitative approach used in appendix A’s study entailed a population of more than 75,000 health care workers of a median age of 39 years of both genders. The use of quantitative data in the study in Appendix A shows an accurate depiction of how wearing masks relates to curbing the spread of the coronavirus 2019. This means that the study approach is quite valid in handling the study topic. The study in Appendix B on the other hand used qualitative data from different sources. This study expresses a higher level of reliability since it shows a consistent view of how wearing face masks in different institutions helps to regulate the transmission of the respiratory disease from different perspectives.
Based on the findings of the two studies above, there was substantial support for this paper’s hypothesis that masks reduce the rate of COVID 19 infection. According to Xiaowen’s study, there was a significant increase in the positivity rate before universal masking was introduced in the 12 medical institutions. The same study showed a significant decrease in positivity post universal masking (Xiaowen et al., 2020). According to Jiao’s paper, wearing masks has a significant effect on the decreased infection rate of COVID-19 within a community (Jiao et al., 2020). This, therefore, means that patients in hospitals with face masks are less likely to contract COVID-19 in the event that they are come to contact with a positive patient.
Based on these findings, therefore, the following questions arise;
Are face masks the most effective non-pharmaceutical intervention for preventing COVID-19 spread?
Should face masks be made a mandatory utility in hospitals for every individual?
All in all the transmission of the Coronavirus disease 2019 has been recognized to majorly be spread from contaminated air droplets from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Therefore, the use of a face mask is a significant non-pharmaceutical intervention in curbing its spread. Evidence from both articles in appendices A and B indicate improved results in terms of reduced positivity rates across different institutions. However, it is important to understand wearing a face mask is not the ultimate protection. Practicing proper hygiene and safety practices improves the reduction of the spread of this respiratory disease. Also, these practices should be carried forward even after the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic, because it might not be the last of its kind.
Di Gennaro, F., Pizzol, D., Marotta, C., Antunes, M., Racalbuto, V., Veronese, N., & Smith, L. (2020). Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) current status and future perspectives: a narrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health
Jiao Wang, Lijun Pan, Song Tang, John Ji, & Xiaoming Shi. (2020). Mask Use During COVID-19: A Risk-Adjusted Strategy. Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314683/
Worldometer. (2020). COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=homeAdvegas1?
Xiaowen Wang, Enrico G. Ferro, & Guohai Zhou. (2020). Association Between Universal Masking in a Health Care System and SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Among Health Care Workers. Research Letter. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768533
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