World Health Organization Changes Recommendation About Face Masks

June 10, 2020

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their recommendations regarding face masks.  Previously the WHO did not recommend that healthy people wear masks; now they say that people over 60 and people with underlying health conditions should wear masks where distancing is not possible. It follows a guideline update from the Center's for Disease Control (CDC) recommending that everyone wear cloth face coverings when leaving their homes, regardless of whether they have fever or symptoms of COVID-19. The WHO also say that local governments may want to recommend masks for everybody, which has been done in Alachua County. To say this can cause some confusion and loss of faith in the two health organizations would be an understatement but you must realize that with each passing day, scientists and healthcare professionals learn more about the novel coronavirus and when new data is introduced, policy and recommendation changes are needed. A drastic change in the acquiring of new data has been the availability of testing.  As more people tested for COVID-19, more infarction was unveiled about its lifespan and how it is spread. In fact, today there is still debate on how common asymptomatic (or presymptomatic) spread is, but we now know that it can happen. A big part of the reason for masks is that they prevent you from spreading the virus that you don’t yet know you have. Through this whole timeline, several things have been true, and remain true until proven otherwise: Both fabric and surgical masks are most useful as source control, rather than protecting you from other people and masks are not perfect protection, and only make sense in addition to distancing and other protective measures. And most important, remember that we should expect guidelines to change as we learn more and as the situation changes.

SOURCE: Vitals

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