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1.
Energy (Oxf) ; : 126096, 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104866

ABSTRACT

The rate of Biomedical waste generation increases exponentially during infectious diseases, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which burst in December 2019 and spread worldwide in a very short time, causing over 6 M casualties worldwide till May 2022. As per the WHO guidelines, the facemask has been used by every person to prevent the infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and discarded as biomedical waste. In the present work, a 3-ply facemask was chosen to be treated using the solvent, which was extracted from the different types of waste plastics through the thermal-catalytic pyrolysis process using a novel catalyst. The facemask was dispersed in the solvent in a heating process, followed by dissolution and precipitation of the facemask in the solvent and by filtration of the solid facemask residue out of the solvent. The effect of peak temperature, heating rate, and type of solvent is observed experimentally, and it found that the facemask was dissolved completely with a clear supernate in the solvent extracted from the (polypropylene + poly-ethylene) plastic also saved energy, while the solvent from ABS plastic was not capable to dissolute the facemask. The potential of the presented approach on the global level is also examined.

2.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-28, 2022 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096216

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the SARS-CoV-2 transmission potential in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho from March 2020 through January 2021. METHODS: Time-varying reproduction numbers, R t , of a 7-day-sliding-window and of non-overlapping-windows between policy changes were estimated utilizing the instantaneous reproduction number method. Linear regression was performed to evaluate if per-capita cumulative case-count varied across counties with different population size or density. RESULTS: The median 7-day-sliding-window R t estimates across the studied region varied between 1 and 1.25 during September through November 2020. Between November 13 and 18, R t was reduced by 14.71% (95% credible interval, CrI, [14.41%, 14.99%]) in North Dakota following a mask mandate; Idaho saw a 1.93% (95% CrI [1.87%, 1.99%]) reduction and Montana saw a 9.63% (95% CrI [9.26%, 9.98%]) reduction following the tightening of restrictions. High-population and high-density counties had higher per-capita cumulative case-count in North Dakota on June 30, August 31, October 31, and December 31, 2020. In Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, there were positive correlations between population size and per-capita weekly incident case-count, adjusted for calendar time and social vulnerability index variables. CONCLUSIONS: R t decreased after mask mandate during the region's case-count spike suggested reduction in SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

3.
Int J Health Plann Manage ; 37(6): 3269-3281, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2093234

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We examined 772 U.S. health facilities' responses to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages in the first half of 2020, as they crowdsourced face coverings from volunteer makers to be used as respiratory protection during crisis surge capacity. The purpose was to examine facemask specification requests from health facilities and develop a framework for crowdsourcing last resort PPE. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Homemade facemask donation requests from health facilities in 47 states systematically recorded in a public database maintained by public health graduate students at a major U.S. university were analysed. Open coding was used to content analyse facemask types and specifications, intended uses, delivery logistics and donation management strategies. FINDINGS: Our analysis revealed information gaps: Science-based information was scarce in 2020, leading to improvised specifications for facemask materials and designs. It also revealed the emergence of a crowdsourcing structure: Task specifications for volunteer facemasks makers, delivery logistics, and practical management of donations within the pandemic context. In anticipation of future pandemics and localised PPE shortages, we build on this empirical evidence to propose a framework for crowdsourcing science-informed facemasks from volunteers. Categorised within (a) logistics and workflow management, (b) task specifications and management, and (c) practical management of contributions functional areas, the framework outlines the required tasks and specifications for crowdsourcing. ORIGINALITY: A novel empirically derived framework for crowdsourcing homemade facemasks is proposed, based on empirical analysis and crowdsourcing system design strategies. Our findings and the framework may be used for refining crisis capacity guidelines, as part of strategic planning and preparation for future pandemics that disrupt supply chains and cause shortages in protective equipment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Crowdsourcing , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Masks , Health Facilities
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090172

ABSTRACT

Non-pharmaceutical intervention such as wearing a mask during the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of the virus. However, despite high effectiveness and easy to access, the biggest problem is 'discomfort'. The purpose of this study was to measure the changes of cardiopulmonary response and related factors affecting breathing discomfort when wearing a mask during vigorous exercise. Fifteen healthy male adults participated in this study. The experimental protocol consisted of three conditions: no mask; KF-94 mask; and sports mask. Each condition consisted of three stages: stage I, 2 m/s on even level; stage II, 2 m/s with 5° inclination; and stage III, 3 m/s on even level. Oxygen saturation (SaO2) and heart rate (HR), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), energy expenditure index (EEI), in-mask temperature, humidity, and a five-point scale questionnaire to evaluate subjective discomfort were measured. The results show that there was a significantly higher discomfort score in mask conditions compared with no mask (p < 0.05) and only pCO2 change significantly related to subjective discomfort during exercise (p < 0.05). Moreover, the pCO2 washout was significantly disturbed when wearing a sports mask in stages 2 and 3, which was related to wearer subjective discomfort.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Adult , Male , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Exercise
5.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 13: 21501319221131704, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089142

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is little information on facemask use during the COVID-19 pandemic in the pediatric population. This became the main purpose of the present study to investigate demographic data of facemask wearing in children, types, and length of facemask, as well as the benefits, drawbacks, and negative consequences of facemask wearing in this population. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a structured questionnaire sent via Google Forms. Caregivers for consecutive convenience were asked in the survey (parents of children under the age of 18). RESULTS: A total number of 706 children were enrolled. There were 320 boys (45.33%), and 386 girls (54.67%). The children's ages range between 4 months and 18 years, with a median age of 9 years. A surgical mask (549, 77.76%) was the most frequent type of facemask in the study population, followed by a cloth mask (86, 12.18%). Facemasks have been shown to be beneficial in the pediatric population. When compared to a former time when facemasks were not used routinely, there were considerably fewer respiratory infections, reduced diarrhea symptoms, and a drop in hospital admissions. In 317 cases (44.9%), children were shown to have negative consequences from wearing facemasks. The most prevalent adverse effect observed in the study population was non-cutaneous (respiratory discomfort/breathing difficulty) which were found in 240 cases (33.99%). Double masking method (surgical + surgical) and wearing a facemask oversize revealed a higher risk in the presence of facemask adverse effects, whereas wearing a proper size facemask reduces the risk of adverse effects from facemask use in children (Adjusted OR [95% CI] = 0.55 [0.38-0.78], P .0003). CONCLUSIONS: Wearing a proper-size facemask reduces the risk of adverse effects from facemask use in children. The future suggestion of an appropriate facemask size for a certain age will aid in the avoidance of facemask adverse effects in the pediatric population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Male , Female , Humans , Child , Infant , Masks/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Thailand/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
Indoor Air ; 32(10): e13127, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088234

ABSTRACT

The protection provided by facemasks has been extensively investigated since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, focusing mostly on the filtration efficiency of filter media for filtering face pieces (FFP), surgical masks, and cloth masks. However, faceseal leakage is a major contributor to the number of potentially infectious airborne droplets entering the respiratory system of a susceptible individual. The identification of leaking spots and the quantification of leaking flows are crucial to estimate the protection provided by facemasks. This study presents a critical review on the measurement and calculation of facemask leakages and a quantitative analysis of their role in the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It shows that the pairing between the mask dimensions and the wearer's face is essential to improve protection efficiency, especially for FFP2 masks, and summarizes the most common leaking spots at the interface between the mask and the wearer's face. Leakage is a crucial factor in the calculation of the protection provided by facemasks and outweighs the filtration performances. The fit factors measured among mask users were summarized for different types of face protection. The reviewed data were integrated into a computational model to compare the mitigation impact of facemasks with vaccination with consideration of new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Combining a high adoption rate of facemasks and a high vaccination rate is crucial to efficiently control the spread of highly infectious variants.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Humans , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
Surg Infect (Larchmt) ; 23(9): 841-847, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087722

ABSTRACT

Background: Surgical site infection (SSI) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is associated with increased morbidity and healthcare expenditures. During the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, our institution intensified hygiene standards, including greater glove, personal protective equipment (PPE), and mask use. We assessed the effect of these changes on SSI rates in primary total knee arthroplasty (pTKA) and revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA). Patients and Methods: A retrospective review was performed identifying TKA from January 2019 to June 2021 at a single institution. Baseline characteristics and outcomes were compared before (January 2019 to February 2020) and during (May 2020 to June 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic when no restriction on operative services was in place and were further analyzed during the first (May 2020 to November 2020) and second (December 2020 to June 2021) periods after full operative services were restored. Results: A total of 3,398 pTKA (pre-pandemic: 1,943 [57.2%]; pandemic: 1,455 [42.8%]) and 454 rTKA (pre-pandemic: 229 [50.4%]; pandemic: 225 [49.6%]) were included. For primary cases, superficial and deep SSI rates were similar before and during COVID-19; however, for revision TKA, the incidence of all (-0.32%, p = 0.035) and superficial (-0.32%, p = 0.035) SSIs decreased during COVID-19. Primary TKA had longer operative times (p < 0.001) and shorter length of stay (LOS; p < 0.001) during COVID-19. Both pTKA (p < 0.001) and rTKA (p = 0.003) were discharged to skilled nursing facilities less frequently during COVID-19 as well. Conclusions: After our hospital implemented COVID-19-motivated hygienic protocols, superficial SSI rates decreased in rTKA but not in pTKA. During COVID-19, patients were less likely to be discharged to skilled nursing facilities, and pTKA operative times increased. Although these changes occurred during intensified hygiene protocols, further research is needed to determine how these factors contributed to the observed changes.


Subject(s)
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee , COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Humans , Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/adverse effects , Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surgical Wound Infection/epidemiology , Surgical Wound Infection/prevention & control , Surgical Wound Infection/etiology , Retrospective Studies , Reoperation
8.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(10)2022 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065813

ABSTRACT

Purpose: We aimed to understand the extent of facemask usage resulting from the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in an Afghan context. In Afghanistan, new COVID-19 variants, low vaccination rates, political turmoil, and poverty interact not only with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic but also with facemask usage. Methods: We collected data (n = 1970) by visually observing the usage and type of facemasks used among visitors entering healthcare facilities in Kabul. We conducted an observational study observing the use of facemasks among 1279 men and 691 women. Results: While 71% of all participants adhered to wearing facemasks, 94% of these users wore surgical masks, and 86% wore all types of facemasks correctly. Interestingly, women adhered to wearing facemasks more than men. Specifically, of all the participants who were not wearing masks, 20% were men, and only 8% were women. Even though men were more in number in our study (64.9%), women have a higher adherence rate to wearing facemasks than men. Conclusions: We conclude that gender socialization and expectations of women to wear the niqab or hijab interact with their adherence to wearing facemasks. Additionally, since Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, which has witnessed a considerable period of political turmoil, we spotlight that our findings are rare in scholarship as they represent a distinct non-Western Islamic society with a low scale of COVID-19 vaccination. Therefore, more research is needed to assess the general population's socioeconomic and geopolitical barriers to facemask use, given that Afghanistan is an underrepresented social context. Our findings are expected to aid health policymakers in developing novel prevention strategies for the country.

9.
Public Health Pract (Oxf) ; : 100324, 2022 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2061793

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Wearing masks could still be one of the few non-pharmaceutical interventions for controlling the pandemic. There are people who wear them and people who don't, but this framing to be overly simplistic. We aim to chart the contradictions in attitudes and behavior regarding mask wearing and describe the messaging challenge that these generate. Study design: Our data come from a survey administered to a nationally representative sample of 2000 respondents from the YouGov panel of US households in August-September 2020. Methods: Respondents were asked whether they wear a facemask when they go outside their home since the COVID-19 epidemic began and whether they support or oppose your municipal government passing the mask wearing regulation. We also collected respondents' demographic and economic characteristics, knowledge regarding the facts of COVID-19 and political ideology. Results: A substantial majority of Americans (60%) both favor a masking requirement and are themselves wearing masks, while 13% oppose a mask mandate and do not wear masks. In contrast, the 17% of Americans oppose a mask mandate but are currently wearing one, while 10% do not wear a mask but favor a mask mandate. These two groups are distinctively different from one another and the other groups in their socioeconomic characteristics, risk perception and political beliefs. Conclusions: Our study offers a better understanding of the mismatch between mask wearing behavior and compliance to the mask mandate, which will help the public health authorities to devise policies regarding mask wearing as an effective intervention to manage the pandemic.

10.
Infect Dis Model ; 7(4): 660-689, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2061246

ABSTRACT

In this paper, a deterministic compartmental model is presented to assess the impact of vaccination and non-pharmaceutical interventions (social distance, awareness, face mask, and quarantine) on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 with co-morbidity and re-infection. An expression for the basic reproduction number is then derived for this model. Theoretical analysis shows that the model exhibits backward bifurcation phenomenon when the basic reproduction number is less than unity. But for the case of no re-infection, the model has a globally asymptotically stable disease-free equilibrium (DFE) when the basic reproduction number is less than unity. Furthermore, it is shown that in the case of no re-infection, a unique endemic equilibrium point (EEP) of the model exists which is globally asymptotically stable whenever the reproduction number is greater than unity. From the global sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, we have identified mask coverage, mask efficacy, vaccine coverage, vaccine efficacy, and contact rate as the most influential parameters influencing the spread of COVID-19. Numerical simulation results show that the use of effective vaccines with proper implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions could lead to the elimination of COVID-19 from the community. Numerical simulations also suggest that the control strategy that ensures a continuous and effective mass vaccination program is the most cost-effective control strategy. The study also shows that in the presence of any co-morbidity and with the occurrence of re-infection, the disease burden may increase.

11.
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research ; 56(4):1083-1090, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2056096

ABSTRACT

Background: Wearing a facemask is one of the precautionary measures for preventing coronavirus disease spread, which causes many facial skin adverse effects. Vitamin-E (TPGS) and olive oil have an efficient effect on skin moistening. Therefore, in this study, face-masks embedded with NE;prepared using olive oil and TPGS, were developed to reduce the long-wearing face mask adverse effect. Methods: Box-Behnken design was used to develop NE formulations which were physically evaluated to select the most stable formulation. Fibroblast cell lines (3T3) were used to examine NE efficacy on dermal cell proliferation and in vitro cytotoxicity possibilities. Face-masks were also examined for 6 hr wearing dermal compatibility on healthy participants. Results: The formulated NE didn’t significantly affect cell proliferation nor had a toxic effect on dermal cells (p<0.05). More than 60% of the respondents were satisfied with masks containing NE. Conclusion: In particular, a face mask embedded with the preparaed selected NE formula could produce emollient feelings during application without retarding the breathing or causing any irritant sensation. © 2022, Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India. All rights reserved.

12.
6th IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics and Computational Intelligence, CyberneticsCom 2022 ; : 329-334, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2051959

ABSTRACT

Detection of the use of masks on someone is helpful in health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. All public services or places require people to wear masks during the pandemic. There are about three types of masks commonly used by the public today: surgical/medical masks, cloth masks, and scuba masks. This research aims to detect masks by monitoring a user using a mask through a camera. also detects the type of mask used by the community. So that it can provide convenience in implementing discipline in carrying out the COVID-19 health protocol using masks. In addition, this research proposes the detection of masks on the face by monitoring using a drone. The detection method used in this research is Transfer Learning CNN. This algorithm is a deep learning method that can classify and detect in digital image processing. The initial step of the research is to collect the types of masks on the market in the form of digital images, followed by the application before being modeled into mathematical calculations, which will later be processed using the Convolutional Neural Network method. This research compares two architectural transfer learning methods in deep learning, namely mobile net V2 with YOLOv5. The system testing process will be carried out by analyzing the recall value, precision, and accuracy. The testing process on drone camera-based devices uses the python programming language. Based on the results of the transfer learning method using YOLOv5, the results of the data training accuracy are 97% in detecting masks. © 2022 IEEE.

13.
2022 IEEE World Conference on Applied Intelligence and Computing, AIC 2022 ; : 195-200, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2051923

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of 2020 WHO declared COVID19 as an epidemic;healthcare industries experts and academicians from worldwide are working in the directions to surveillance the daily behaviors of the citizens to combat the COVID-19 cases. In India, we thank the government for performing its outperformed active measures and spontaneous compliance to follow the policy of wearing masks when moving out to any public places;it entails active real-time monitoring to supervise the citizens by governments. In this process, real-time face-mask identification is a very challenging task of computer vision. And the absence of accurate datasets for this problem is a critical hard problem to solve. To address this bottleneck, we are proposing our real-time deep learning face-mask identification technique with annotated class labels with bounding boxes which have its real-time application to assist the governments to control and prevent the spread of these epidemics in its supervision. Our model is very robust and effective to classify the real-time images and videos for face mask detection with accuracy and average precision. The proposed model substitutes the manual surveillance with the object detection method using YOLOv4 supported on a deep learning approach to monitor the crowd accurately even if they change their respective locations. The experiment identify or classify the object within any dataset to distinguish the images or videos with two class labels such as 'with-mask' and 'without-mask' with approximately 98.26% accuracy, mAP of 68.28%, recall of 77%, and precision of 57%. © 2022 IEEE.

14.
Int J Infect Dis ; 123: 54-57, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2049302

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyze face-touching patterns with and without a face mask. METHODS: The behavior of face touching with and without a mask during an interview was assessed in 40 individuals. The frequency of touching in different areas of the face covered by the mask was compared with areas not covered by the face mask. RESULTS: There was an increase in the number of individuals who touched the hair and the eye when they were not wearing the mask. There was an increase in the number of touches on the lips and hair when individuals were not wearing the face mask. When analyzing the area covered by the face mask, no difference was observed in the number of touches while using or not using masks. However, when the area not covered by a face mask was analyzed, a higher number of touches in individuals without masks was observed when compared with individuals wearing masks. CONCLUSION: Using a face mask can reduce or change the face-touching patterns in normal individuals, especially in areas not covered by the mask. Using face masks can possibly reduce the chances of being infected by autoinoculation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Over Studies , Humans
15.
Cogent Arts & Humanities ; 9(1), 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2031997

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 in Wuhan, China claimed over six million lives globally, according to the report of World Health Organization (WHO), by 27 July 2022. The pandemic necessitated public health protocols such as social distancing and face mask-wearing, among others, in the absence of a proven cure. However, the degree of compliance to the face mask rule appears significantly low in many African countries on account of low state capacity, poor governance and the consequent public distrust. Drawing on analysis of text items such as Facebook conversations, interview quotes and photographic images, this study explores public responses to the COVID-19 face mask rule that exemplify public distrust and the concept of social responsibility. Utilizing Taro Yamane formula, we determined a sample size of 278, selected systematically from 912 Facebook comments on an official post by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Personal observation and in-depth interviews with six purposively selected artists were conducted in Nsukka, Nigeria. The study argues that the apathy towards the COVID-19 face mask rule was a product of public distrust while the rule was a source of inspiration to the artists.

16.
Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science ; : 110777, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2031281

ABSTRACT

Recently, a fluidic facemask concept was proposed to mitigate the transmission of virus-laden aerosol and droplet infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This paper describes an experimental investigation of the first practical fluidic facemask prototype, or “Air-Screen”. It employs a small, high-aspect-ratio, crossflow fan mounted on the visor of a filter-covered cap to produce a rectangular air jet, or screen, in front of the wearer’s face. The entire assembly weighs less than 200 grams. Qualitative flow visualization experiments using a mannequin clearly illustrated the Air-Screen’s ability to effectively block airborne droplets (∼100 µm) from the wearer’s face. Quantitative experiments to simulate droplets produced during sneezing or a wet cough (∼102 µm) were propelled (via a transmitter) at an average velocity of 50 m/s at 1 m from the mannequin or a target. The Air-Screen blocked 62% of all droplets with a diameter of less than 150 µm. With an Air-Screen active on the transmitter, 99% of all droplets were blocked. When both mannequin and transmitter Air-Screens were active, 99.8% of all droplets were blocked. A mathematical model, based on a weakly-advected jet in a crossflow, was employed to gain greater insight into the experimental results. This investigation highlighted the remarkable blocking effect of the Air-Screen and serves as a basis for a more detailed and comprehensive experimental evaluation.

17.
Intern Emerg Med ; 2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2027645

ABSTRACT

In the past, the use of face masks in western countries was essentially limited to occupational health. Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing has been recommended as a public health intervention. As potential side effects and some contraindications are emerging, we reviewed the literature to assess the impact of them in daily life on patient safety and to provide appropriate guidelines and recommendations. We performed a systematic review of studies investigating physiological impact, safety, and risk of masks in predefined categories of patients, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals with no time and language restrictions. Given the heterogeneity of studies, results were analyzed thematically. We used PRISMA guidelines to report our findings. Wearing a N95 respirator is more associated with worse side effects than wearing a surgical mask with the following complications: breathing difficulties (reduced FiO2, SpO2, PaO2 increased ETCO2, PaCO2), psychiatric symptoms (panic attacks, anxiety) and skin reactions. These complications are related to the duration of use and/or disease severity. Difficulties in communication is another issue to be considered especially with young children, older person and people with hearing impairments. Even if benefits of wearing face masks exceed the discomfort, it is recommended to take an "air break" after 1-2 h consecutively of mask-wearing. However, well-designed prospective studies are needed. The COVID-19 pandemic could represent a unique opportunity for collecting large amount of real-world data.

18.
Ann Behav Med ; 56(11): 1174-1187, 2022 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and physical distancing play a crucial role in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. Identifying the key psychosocial determinants of these precautionary behaviors contributes to effective intervention and policymaking for COVID-19 and future pandemics. PURPOSE: This study aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze available evidence on psychosocial determinants of the general population's practice of three precautionary behaviors, based on the Risk, Attitudes, Norms, Abilities, and Self-regulation (RANAS) framework. METHODS: Literature was identified by searching seven databases and relevant review papers. Observational and experimental studies targeting the general population (≥18 years) published between January 2020 to September 2021 were included. Pooled effect sizes were calculated with the inverse-variance method using random-effects models. RESULTS: A total of 51 studies (64 samples) were included in the qualitative synthesis, of which 30 studies (42 samples) were included in the meta-analysis. RANAS-based constructs including knowledge, pros attitudes, and perceived norms were identified as significant determinants of all three behaviors in the meta-analysis. Perceived susceptibility and cons attitudes showed no significant associations with any behaviors. Perceived severity, perceived control, self-efficacy, and behavioral intention were significantly associated with one or two behaviors. Country (western vs. eastern hemispheres) significantly moderated the effects of certain risk and ability factors. CONCLUSIONS: More research is needed with respect to the intention-behavior relationship, self-regulatory and reflexive factors of precautionary behaviors, as well as the exploration of the potential moderating effect of sociodemographic factors.


Identifying the psychosocial factors affecting the practice of three precautionary behaviors (hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and physical distancing) contributes to effective intervention and policymaking for the COVID-19 and future pandemics. Given the lack of summarized evidence, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. Through seven databases and relevant review papers, we summarized the research findings of 51 observational studies that targeted the general population (≥18 years) and were published between January 2020 and September 2021. We found that (a) more knowledge, positive behavioral attitudes, and better compliance with the norms were associated with better practices of all three precautionary behaviors; (b) perceived susceptibility to the disease and negative behavioral attitudes were not associated with any precautionary behaviors; (c) higher levels of perceived disease severity, perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, and behavioral intention were associated with better practices of one or two behaviors. In addition, we found that country (western vs. eastern hemispheres) differed in the relationship between psychosocial factors and behavioral practices. Specifically, both the association of perceived susceptibility with hand hygiene and the association of perceived severity with physical distancing were stronger among western populations. In contrast, the contribution of self-efficacy on the practice of physical distancing was stronger among eastern populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hand Hygiene , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Pandemics/prevention & control , Masks
19.
Nano Lett ; 22(17): 7212-7219, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016526

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires enormous production of facemasks and related personal protection materials, thereby increasing the amount of nondegradable plastic waste. The core material for facemasks is melt-blown polypropylene (PP) fiber. Each disposable facemask consumes ∼0.7 g of PP fibers, resulting in annual global consumption and disposal of more than 1 150 000 tons of PP fibers annually. Herein, we developed a laser-assisted melt-blown (LAMB) technique to manufacture PP nanofibers with a quality factor of 0.17 Pa-1 and significantly reduced the filter's weight. We demonstrated that a standard surgical facemask could be made with only 0.13 g of PP nanofibers, saving approximately 80% of the PP materials used in commercial facemasks. Theoretical analysis and modeling were also conducted to understand the LAMB process. Importantly, nanofibers can be easily scaled up for mass production by upgrading traditional melt blown line with scanning laser-assisted melt-blown (SLAMB).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanofibers , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Lasers , Masks , Polypropylenes
20.
J Pers Med ; 12(9)2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic made the use of facemasks mandatory to prevent contact with the virus. Recent studies have revealed that intensive use of facemasks significantly exacerbated pre-existing headaches and triggered de novo headaches. In our experience, some subjects also complain of symptoms of neuropathic pain in the head/facial regions. Until now, the relationship between neuropathic pain and facemasks has not been documented. The aim of the study is to investigate the occurrence of neuropathic pain related to facemask use. It is a cross-sectional survey using a questionnaire, developed following a commonly accepted outcome research methodology. Participants, both health care and non-health care workers, responded to items included in the questionnaire about the type of facemasks, time and manner of wearing them, side effects such as skin lesions, symptoms of neuropathic pain, etc.

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