Health And more about the benefits of masks

And more about the benefits of masks

Appeared in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine interesting article in which the possibility of creating additional immunity against covid with the mass wearing of protective masks is discussed.

The idea itself is as simple as a door: the mask significantly reduces the viral load on a person who breathes air with an aerosol of viral particles. The droplets settle on the mask and much less viable viral particles reach the respiratory tract than without it.

These few viruses are not capable of causing symptomatic illness – there are simply too few of them to trigger a “chain reaction” – but they stimulate the production of immunity. Not the fact that this immunity will be as powerful as in response to a full-fledged disease, but somehow it will be.

Such a sluggishly ill person falls out of the chain of spread of the virus at least for some time (weeks, months), which is already very good for extinguishing outbreaks and so that the population as a whole lasts until the vaccine appears.

In the case of covid, it has already been proven that the likelihood of symptoms and the severity of the disease depend on the viral load: the higher the dose a person “grabbed”, the more likely a severe course is. That is why tight spaces with many potential carriers are so dangerous and fleeting contacts are relatively safe.

The article argues that statistics for different countries speaks in favor of the fact that the mass wearing of masks greatly increases the number of asymptomatic carriers: on average, about 40% of asymptomatic carriers are recorded around the planet, but where the total mask regime is strictly observed, this number reaches 80% ( !)

This hypothesis has even been tested in model animals. Don’t even ask me how they put masks on Syrian hamsters, but masked hamsters were more often asymptomatic than hamsters without masks (hamsters here are animals, not irresponsible homo sapiens;)).

In short, masks not only slow down the spread of infection as such, but also greatly reduce the likelihood of its severe course, further contributing to the development of a kind of “crutch herd immunity.”

Semyon Esilevsky

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