Covid-19: Delta Variant & Masking Information

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Study shows masks can prevent COVID-19

29 July, 2021 - MAYO Clinic Minute

Mayo Clinic researchers recently published a study that shows the proper use of masks reduces the spread of respiratory droplets. The findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in reducing the spread.

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Vaccines, Delta, Masks

28 July, 2021 - ZDoggMD 

Bottom line discussion of Covid-19 & masking begins at time marker 17:20

Climbing the Pandemic Failures Chart: Research on Masking Kids

07 July, 2021 - MedPageToday - Vinay Prasad MD

Last week, a study in JAMA Pediatrics created consternation. The study took 45 kids (ages 6 to 17) and asked them to wear a mask. It measured rates of CO2 inside the mask. The rates were high, and inversely related to age: the youngest kids appeared to have the highest CO2 concentration.

Criticism came immediately. One thoughtful observer pointed out that as children draw breath in, only a tiny fraction is from inside the mask (where it may be at a higher CO2 level). The rest of the air is pulled through the mask, and the CO2 will be diluted with room air in the lungs. There were many more objections raised (some legitimate), and the usual calls for retraction.

However, both the paper and the critics miss the point: Should kids be required to wear a mask and, if so, when?

It is a simple question, but it divides public health authorities. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises against masking kids under the age of 5, and only masking 6- to 11-year-olds under some circumstances. The CDC advises masks be worn by any unvaccinated individual over 2 years old in indoor public spaces. This means the WHO and CDC are in diametric opposition on the decision to mask kids ages 2 to 4 in daycare or other public settings. Who is right?

The truth is there are potential benefits to masking kids and potential risks. The biggest potential benefit is the possibility of reduced SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and transmission. The potential risks include concerns about normal language acquisition, speaking, and development. At very young ages (<2 years old) or while sleeping, there may be risks of suffocation, which both the CDC and WHO acknowledge.

Real-life can complicate both the benefits and risks. Young kids may not wear the mask appropriately and it may slide off the nose. Saliva or mucous can soak cloth masks, which can diminish the putative benefit and potentially increase risks. During heavy exertion, masking kids may lead to fatigue or the subjective feeling of shortness of breath.

 

On balance then, does masking kids help?

Rapid Increase in Circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant — Mesa County, Colorado, April–June 2021

13 August, 2021 - CDC

Herlihy R, Bamberg W, Burakoff A, et al. Rapid Increase in Circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant — Mesa County, Colorado, April–June 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1084-1087. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7032e2

SUMMARY:

What is already known about this topic?

The highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become the predominant circulating U.S. strain.

What is added by this report?

During April–June 2021, COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant increased rapidly in Mesa County, Colorado. Compared with that in other Colorado counties, incidence, intensive care unit admissions, COVID-19 case fatality ratios, and the proportion of cases in fully vaccinated persons were significantly higher in Mesa County. Crude vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection was estimated to be 78% for Mesa County and 89% for other Colorado counties.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Vaccination is critical for preventing infection, serious illness, and death associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (including the Delta variant). Multicomponent prevention strategies, such as masking in indoor settings irrespective of vaccination status as well as optimal surveillance testing and infection prevention and control, should be considered in areas of high incidence

COVID-19: News & Updates

As a response to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, many medical associations and organizations have released statements specifically related to treatment for cardiovascular patients.

These resources provide credible and trustworthy information. Many if not most, speak to the need for more detailed research and data, to help guide us as we develop new standards of practice to ensure optimal care based on clinical practice rather than speculation.

The best strategies to prevent contracting COVID-19 are:
  • Wear a mask in public places
  • Social distancing - stay at least 6 feet away from other people
  • Wash your hands frequently - with warm soapy water for at least 30 seconds
  • Avoid crowds, confined and poorly ventilated spaces.

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About Jasdeep Dalawari MD

Experienced General and Specialist Physician with a demonstrated history of working in the medical practice industry. Skilled in Interventional, Endovascular, Vascular, and General Cardiovascular Medicine; Emergency Medicine; Healthcare Consulting, including Peer Review, Expert Witness, and Utilization Review; and Medical Education. Strong healthcare services professional with an MS focused in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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