Ohios Dr. Amy Acton looks forward to new CDC coronavirus guidelines that could call for face coverings in pu – cleveland.com

§ March 31st, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Ohios Dr. Amy Acton looks forward to new CDC coronavirus guidelines that could call for face coverings in pu – cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Homemade masks, sewn from cloth or old T-shirts, dont look high tech or as professional as those used by health care workers.

Yet, they could be useful in preventing people who wear them from spreading the coronavirus, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said Tuesday.

Right now, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesnt recommend that people always cover their faces when out in public. However, the CDC, in consultation with President Donald Trumps administration, is considering recommending face coverings.

Acton said she looks forward to new guidance that could come out of Washington. Many people could be carrying the virus and not know it because theyre asymptomatic, Actor has said.

"Again, Ive been saying this all long: Assume you have it. Assume each other has it, she said.

Masks could be another tool in the arsenal people have to control the diseases spread -- which also includes social distancing, thorough hand washing and coughing and sneezing into elbows, said Acton, a licensed preventive medicine physician.

So masks can help in not spreading those respiratory big droplets, she said. I dont know a pleasant way to say it -- spewing stuff out into the air. And obviously its microscopic, so even breathing close to someone, its getting out there.

In the Czech Republic, people are required to wear masks out in public during the pandemic, even if theyre homemade. And the countrys public health officials credit its relatively low infection rate to the mask policy.

The science is not definitive yet that masks can be instrumental in stopping the spread of coronavirus. However, the idea is gaining momentum, the Washington Post reports, since many people are asymptomatic but could be spreading the disease.

To be sure, homemade masks are not as effective as N95 masks in protecting the wearer. They do a better job at filtering to keep a microscopic virus from the mouth or nose of the wearer. But increasingly, even so-called DIY face coverings are being viewed as effective in preventing infected people who wear them from spreading the virus.

In other countries, whenever you have any cold people wear a mask because its seen as polite, and it stops the spread of disease, and youre sort of looked at funny if youre out and coughing without one, Acton said. But if youre using a surgical mask, keep a couple for yourself, and please immediately give the rest of them to your local nursing home or your local health department.

The respirator masks -- the N95s -- absolutely have got to go to our health care workers, or nursing home workers, Acton said. We have nursing homes that are dangerously short of even the surgical masks, even the cloth masks.

Acton advises people who have surgical masks at home, to keep one to three. Donate the rest of them to health care workers, who on Tuesday made up 20% of Ohios 2,199 confirmed infections.

Meanwhile, the cloth mask is a great alternative, and the CDC has always had guidance on using bandannas or scarves, or any kind of cloth, she said. Im anxiously awaiting this guidance.

Other coronavirus coverage:

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio increase to 2,199 and 55 deaths: Ohio Department of Health, Tuesday March 31 update

Gov. Mike DeWine gives Tuesdays coronavirus update: Watch Live

Columbus-based Battelle is at the forefront of battling the coronavirus: 5 facts about the nonprofit firm

Boards of health in Summit, Lorain and Medina counties refusing to follow Cuyahoga County and release zip code data on coronavirus cases

Coping with coronavirus: Guide aims to ease fear of pandemic disease

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Ohios Dr. Amy Acton looks forward to new CDC coronavirus guidelines that could call for face coverings in pu - cleveland.com

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