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1.
Rev. bras. promoç. saúde (Impr.) ; 35(1): 1-8, 20220125.
Article in English, Portuguese | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-2202508

ABSTRACT

Objetivo: O presente estudo piloto investigou o comportamento de uso de máscaras para a prevenção da COVID-19, tendo como objetivo determinar a magnitude do uso de máscaras em espaços públicos. Métodos: Trata-se de um estudo quantitativo de caráter prospectivo, realizado na cidade de Maputo, Moçambique, em fevereiro de 2020, com recurso da técnica de observação sistemática, através do uso de uma plataforma eletrônica de recolha de dados construído no Google Forms©, visando obter dados como o local, o sexo, o uso ou não de máscaras, bem como a forma de uso desta. A amostragem apresentou-se como aleatória sistemática, contando com uma amostra de 1.020 indivíduos, obtida em dois terminais de transporte rodoviário e um mercado, caracterizados por grandes aglomerações. Os dados colhidos passaram por análises de estatística descritiva, ANOVA e Teste T para amostras independentes. Resultados: Verificou-se que 72,9% (744) dos indivíduos traziam máscara, entretanto, apenas 53% (541) usava-a de forma adequada, cobrindo a boca e o nariz. As mulheres apresentaram uma média mais elevada comparativamente aos homens (t=4.471; p=0.000). Conclusão: O uso de máscaras em espaços públicos, avaliado na cidade de Maputo, pode ser considerado baixo, o que pressupõe altos níveis de vulnerabilidade para novas vagas do COVID-19.


Objective: This pilot study investigated the mask wearing behavior for the prevention of COVID-19, aiming to determine the magnitude of mask use in public spaces. Methods: This was a prospective quantitative study, carried out in the city of Maputo, Mozambique, in February 2020, using the technique of systematic observation through the use of an electronic data collection platform built on Google Forms© to obtain data such as location, gender, use or not of masks, as well as how they are used. The systematic random sampling was adopted and a sample of 1,020 individuals was collected, in two road transport terminals and a market characterized by agglomerations. The collected data underwent descriptive statistical analysis, ANOVA, and T-test for independent samples. Results: It was found that 72.9% (744) of the individuals brought a mask; however, only 53% (541) used it properly, covering the mouth and nose. Women had a higher mean compared to men (t=4,471; p=0,000). Conclusion: The use of masks in public spaces, evaluated in the city of Maputo, can be considered low, which presupposes high levels of vulnerability to new waves of COVID-19.


Objetivo: El presente estudio piloto ha investigado la conducta de uso de mascarillas para la prevención de la COVID-19 con el objetivo de determinar la magnitud del uso de mascarillas en los espacios públicos. Métodos: Se trata de un estudio cuantitativo de carácter prospectivo realizado en la ciudad de Maputo, Mozambique, en febrero de 2020, con el recurso de la técnica de observación sistemática, a través del uso de una plataforma electrónica de recogida de datos elaborado en el Google Forms©, visando obtener datos como el sitio, el sexo, el uso o no de mascarillas, así como la forma de su utilización. El muestreo se dio como aleatorio sistemático con una muestra de 1.020 individuos de dos terminales de transporte rodoviario y un mercado caracterizados por grandes aglomeraciones. Los datos recogidos han pasado por el análisis estadístico descriptivo, ANOVA y la prueba T para muestras independientes. Resultados: Se verificó que el 72,9% (744) de los individuos tenían la mascarilla, sin embargo, solamente el 53% (541) la usaba de manera adecuada, cubriendo la boca y la nariz. Las mujeres presentaron una media más alta que los hombres (t=4.471; p=0.000). Conclusión: Se considera bajo el uso de las mascarillas en espacios públicos, evaluado en la ciudad de Maputo, lo que presupone altos niveles de vulnerabilidad para las nuevas plazas de COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Behavior , COVID-19 , Masks
2.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(7): 961-962, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185150
5.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0271231, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196936

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia was attributed to joint effects of multiple factors such as low adherence to face mask-wearing, failure to comply with social distancing measures, many people attending religious worship activities and holiday events, extensive protests, country election rallies during the pandemic, and the war between the federal government and Tigray Region. This study built a system dynamics model to capture COVID-19 characteristics, major social events, stringencies of containment measures, and vaccination dynamics. This system dynamics model served as a framework for understanding the issues and gaps in the containment measures against COVID-19 in the past period (16 scenarios) and the spread dynamics of the infectious disease over the next year under a combination of different interventions (264 scenarios). In the counterfactual analysis, we found that keeping high mask-wearing adherence since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ethiopia could have significantly reduced the infection under the condition of low vaccination level or unavailability of the vaccine supply. Reducing or canceling major social events could achieve a better outcome than imposing constraints on people's routine life activities. The trend analysis found that increasing mask-wearing adherence and enforcing more stringent social distancing were two major measures that can significantly reduce possible infections. Higher mask-wearing adherence had more significant impacts than enforcing social distancing measures in our settings. As the vaccination rate increases, reduced efficacy could cause more infections than shortened immunological periods. Offsetting effects of multiple interventions (strengthening one or more interventions while loosening others) could be applied when the levels or stringencies of one or more interventions need to be adjusted for catering to particular needs (e.g., less stringent social distancing measures to reboot the economy or cushion insufficient resources in some areas).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Humans , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 7(1): 88, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196536

ABSTRACT

The objective was to document the influence of face mask use by other people on communication experiences, participation in activities, and quality of life. Australian adults (n = 665) completed an online survey; 90.8% resided in a state with mandatory mask use outside the home and 44.1% self-reported hearing difficulties. Mask use was reported as negatively affecting communication quality in the community (90.2%) and workplace (91.8%), and with household members (59.1%), including an increased requirement for clarification and repetition, increased difficulty communicating, and decreased understanding. Masks influenced feelings when communicating in the community (74.1%) and workplace (76.7%), and with household members (43.6%), including increased fatigue and frustration, and decreased connection to others. Masks influenced the time spent communicating in the community (68.8%) and workplace (67.9%), and with household members (42.3%), including a decrease in the number of individuals communicated with, and the time spent communicating with each individual. Masks influenced participation in activities in the community (50.9%) and workplace (59.7%), and with household members (41.3%), including reduced participation in health-related activities, shopping, and socialising. Influences on quality of life included reduced physical and mental health, including increased loneliness. Female gender and greater self-reported hearing difficulties were significantly associated with increased influence of mask use. The wide-ranging influences of face mask use have implications for physical health and mental health, including social connectedness, and for employers and the economy. As an important measure for combatting disease spread, the negative impacts of mask use must be considered during policy formulation, and appropriate mitigating measures, such as educational campaigns, enacted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communication , Female , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Quality of Life
7.
Cad Saude Publica ; 38(6): e00271921, 2022.
Article in Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154412

ABSTRACT

By March 3, 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 399 million infections and claimed the lives of more than five million people worldwide. To reduce infection rates, a series of prevention measures indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) were adopted by countries, including the use of masks. This study aims to describe mask use in Brazil via data analysis from the EPICOVID19-BR, a population-based study conducted in 133 cities in the country in four phases between March and August 2020. The proportion of individuals who reported wearing a mask when they left their homes was 97.9% (95%CI: 97.8-98.0). The interviewer did not see interviewees' mask in 50% (95%CI: 49.9-51.1) of the cases at the time of the interview. However, between phase one and four of the survey, we observed a 4.4% decrease in the proportion of interviewees who failed to wear masks at the time of the interview. Mask non-visualization was more prominent in women, participants aged 10-19 and 20-29 years of indigenous, black, and brown skin color, and those with elementary and high school education and in the Central-West Region. The use of cloth masks showed a 91.4% predominance (95%CI: 91.2-1.5) with a 4.9% increase between phases 1 and 4. The results of the study bring important information to reinforce COVID-19 control policies in Brazil. The high percentage of people who failed to wear masks at the time of the interview suggests that it is still important to reinforce prevention and self-care, rather than relating mask wear to a mandatory measure.


A pandemia de COVID-19 já causou mais de 399 milhões de infecções e custou a vida de mais de cinco milhões de pessoas no mundo, até 3 de março de 2022. Para reduzir a taxa de infecção, uma série de medidas de prevenção indicadas pela Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS) foram adotadas pelos países, entre elas, o uso de máscara. O objetivo deste estudo é descrever a utilização de máscara na população brasileira, através da análise de dados do EPICOVID19-BR, um estudo de base populacional realizado em 133 cidades do país, em quatro fases entre março e agosto de 2020. A proporção de indivíduos que preferiram usar máscara quando saíam de casa foi de 97,9% (IC95%: 97,8-98,0). O entrevistador não visualizou a máscara do entrevistado em 50% (IC95%: 49,9-51,1) dos casos no momento da entrevista, no entanto, entre a fase uma e quatro da pesquisa, observou-se uma diminuição de 4,4 pontos percentuais na proporção de entrevistados que não usaram máscara no momento da entrevista. A não visualização da máscara foi mais observada em mulheres, participantes com idade entre 10-19 e 20-29 anos, de cor de pele indígena, preta, e parda, entre as pessoas com Ensinos Fundamental e Médio e na Região Centro-oeste. O uso de máscara de tecido foi predominante 91,4% (IC95%: 91,2-91,5) com um aumento de 4,9 pontos percentuais entre as fases 1 e 4. Os resultados do estudo trazem informações importantes para reforçar as políticas de controle de COVID-19 no Brasil. O alto percentual de pessoas sem máscara na hora da entrevista sugere que ainda é importante reforçar o aspecto preventivo e de autocuidado, não fazendo do uso da máscara algo apenas ligado à obrigatoriedade.


La pandemia del COVID-19 ha provocado más de 399 millones de infecciones y se ha cobrado la vida de más de cinco millones de personas en todo el mundo hasta el 3 de Marzo de 2022. Para reducir la tasa de contagios, los países adoptaron una serie de medidas de prevención indicadas por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), entre ellas el uso de mascarillas. El objetivo de este estudio es describir el uso de mascarillas en la población brasileña, utilizando el análisis de datos de EPICOVID19-BR, un estudio de base poblacional realizado en 133 ciudades del país, en cuatro fases entre marzo y agosto de 2020. La proporción de personas que informaron usar mascarillas al salir de casa fue del 97,9% (IC95%: 97,8-98,0). El entrevistador no vio la mascarilla del entrevistado en el 50% (IC95%: 49,9-51,1) de los casos al momento de la entrevista, sin embargo entre las fases uno y cuatro de la investigación se observó una disminución de 4,4 puntos porcentuales en la proporción de los encuestados que no llevaban mascarilla durante la entrevista. Se observó una mayor visualización de falta de uso de mascarillas en las mujeres, en participantes con edades entre 10-19 y 20-29 años, de color de piel indígena, negra y parda, entre personas con educación primaria y secundaria y en la Región Centro-oeste. Hubo un mayor predominio de uso de mascarillas de tela en el 91,4% (IC95%: 91,2-91,5) con un aumento de 4,9 puntos porcentuales entre las fases 1 y 4. Los resultados muestran la importancia de fortalecer las políticas de prevención del COVID-19 en Brasil. El alto porcentaje de personas sin mascarilla al momento de la entrevista sugiere que es importante reforzar la prevención y el autocuidado en general no solo relacionado a la obligatoriedad en el uso de mascarillas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
8.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(10): e26840, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141319

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of COVID-19 in China occurred around the Chinese New Year (January 25, 2020), and infections decreased continuously afterward. General adoption of preventive measures during the Chinese New Year period was crucial in driving the decline. It is imperative to investigate preventive behaviors among Chinese university students, who could have spread COVID-19 when travelling home during the Chinese New Year break. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated levels of COVID-19-related personal measures undertaken during the 7-day Chinese New Year holidays by university students in China, and associated COVID-19-related cognitive factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional anonymous web-based survey was conducted during the period from February 1 to 10, 2020. Data from 23,863 students (from 26 universities, 16 cities, 13 provincial-level regions) about personal measures (frequent face-mask wearing, frequent handwashing, frequent home staying, and an indicator that combined the 3 behaviors) were analyzed (overall response rate 70%). Multilevel multiple logistic regression analysis was performed. RESULTS: Only 28.0% of respondents (6684/23,863) had left home for >4 hours, and 49.3% (11,757/23,863) had never left home during the 7-day Chinese New Year period; 79.7% (19,026/23,863) always used face-masks in public areas. The frequency of handwashing with soap was relatively low (6424/23,863, 26.9% for >5 times/day); 72.4% (17,282/23,863) had frequently undertaken ≥2 of these 3 measures. COVID-19-related cognitive factors (perceptions on modes of transmission, permanent bodily damage, efficacy of personal or governmental preventive measures, nonavailability of vaccines and treatments) were significantly associated with preventive measures. Associations with frequent face-mask wearing were stronger than those with frequent home staying. CONCLUSIONS: University students had strong behavioral responses during the very early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak. Levels of personal prevention, especially frequent home staying and face-mask wearing, were high. Health promotion may modify cognitive factors. Some structural factors (eg, social distancing policy) might explain why the frequency of home staying was higher than that of handwashing. Other populations might have behaved similarly; however, such data were not available to us.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hand Disinfection , Humans , Male , Masks , Physical Distancing , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e26780, 2021 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141318

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite scientific evidence supporting the importance of wearing masks to curtail the spread of COVID-19, wearing masks has stirred up a significant debate particularly on social media. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the topics associated with the public discourse against wearing masks in the United States. We also studied the relationship between the anti-mask discourse on social media and the number of new COVID-19 cases. METHODS: We collected a total of 51,170 English tweets between January 1, 2020, and October 27, 2020, by searching for hashtags against wearing masks. We used machine learning techniques to analyze the data collected. We investigated the relationship between the volume of tweets against mask-wearing and the daily volume of new COVID-19 cases using a Pearson correlation analysis between the two-time series. RESULTS: The results and analysis showed that social media could help identify important insights related to wearing masks. The results of topic mining identified 10 categories or themes of user concerns dominated by (1) constitutional rights and freedom of choice; (2) conspiracy theory, population control, and big pharma; and (3) fake news, fake numbers, and fake pandemic. Altogether, these three categories represent almost 65% of the volume of tweets against wearing masks. The relationship between the volume of tweets against wearing masks and newly reported COVID-19 cases depicted a strong correlation wherein the rise in the volume of negative tweets led the rise in the number of new cases by 9 days. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated the potential of mining social media for understanding the public discourse about public health issues such as wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results emphasized the relationship between the discourse on social media and the potential impact on real events such as changing the course of the pandemic. Policy makers are advised to proactively address public perception and work on shaping this perception through raising awareness, debunking negative sentiments, and prioritizing early policy intervention toward the most prevalent topics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Public Opinion , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Data Mining , Humans , Machine Learning , United States/epidemiology
10.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e25762, 2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141307

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public health campaigns aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 are important in reducing disease transmission, but traditional information-based campaigns have received unexpectedly extreme backlash. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate whether customizing of public service announcements (PSAs) providing health guidelines to match individuals' identities increases their compliance. METHODS: We conducted a within- and between-subjects, randomized controlled cross-sectional, web-based study in July 2020. Participants viewed two PSAs: one advocating wearing a mask in public settings and one advocating staying at home. The control PSA only provided information, and the treatment PSAs were designed to appeal to the identities held by individuals; that is, either a Christian identity or an economically motivated identity. Participants were asked about their identity and then provided a control PSA and treatment PSA matching their identity, in random order. The PSAs were of approximately 100 words. RESULTS: We recruited 300 social media users from Amazon Mechanical Turk in accordance with usual protocols to ensure data quality. In total, 8 failed the data quality checks, and the remaining 292 were included in the analysis. In the identity-based PSA, the source of the PSA was changed, and a phrase of approximately 12 words relevant to the individual's identity was inserted. A PSA tailored for Christians, when matched with a Christian identity, increased the likelihood of compliance by 12 percentage points. A PSA that focused on economic values, when shown to individuals who identified as economically motivated, increased the likelihood of compliance by 6 points. CONCLUSIONS: Using social media to deliver COVID-19 public health announcements customized to individuals' identities is a promising measure to increase compliance with public health guidelines. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Registry 22331899; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN22331899.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Persuasive Communication , Public Service Announcements as Topic , Social Identification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , Quarantine , Social Media , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e24320, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many studies have focused on the characteristics of symptomatic patients with COVID-19 and clinical risk factors. This study reports the prevalence of COVID-19 in an asymptomatic population of a hospital service area (HSA) and identifies factors that affect exposure to the virus. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to measure the prevalence of COVID-19 in an HSA, identify factors that may increase or decrease the risk of infection, and analyze factors that increase the number of daily contacts. METHODS: This study surveyed 1694 patients between April 30 and May 13, 2020, about their work and living situations, income, behavior, sociodemographic characteristics, and prepandemic health characteristics. This data was linked to testing data for 454 of these patients, including polymerase chain reaction test results and two different serologic assays. Positivity rate was used to calculate approximate prevalence, hospitalization rate, and infection fatality rate (IFR). Survey data was used to analyze risk factors, including the number of contacts reported by study participants. The data was also used to identify factors increasing the number of daily contacts, such as mask wearing and living environment. RESULTS: We found a positivity rate of 2.2%, a hospitalization rate of 1.2%, and an adjusted IFR of 0.55%. A higher number of daily contacts with adults and older adults increases the probability of becoming infected. Occupation, living in an apartment versus a house, and wearing a face mask outside work increased the number of daily contacts. CONCLUSIONS: Studying prevalence in an asymptomatic population revealed estimates of unreported COVID-19 cases. Occupational, living situation, and behavioral data about COVID-19-protective behaviors such as wearing a mask may aid in the identification of nonclinical factors affecting the number of daily contacts, which may increase SARS-CoV-2 exposure.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Housing , Infection Control , Masks , Contact Tracing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
12.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e20699, 2021 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Daily new COVID-19 cases from January to April 2020 demonstrate varying patterns of SARS-CoV-2 transmission across different geographical regions. Constant infection rates were observed in some countries, whereas China and South Korea had a very low number of daily new cases. In fact, China and South Korea successfully and quickly flattened their COVID-19 curve. To understand why this was the case, this paper investigated possible aerosol-forming patterns in the atmosphere and their relationship to the policy measures adopted by select countries. OBJECTIVE: The main research objective was to compare the outcomes of policies adopted by countries between January and April 2020. Policies included physical distancing measures that in some cases were associated with mask use and city disinfection. We investigated whether the type of social distancing framework adopted by some countries (ie, without mask use and city disinfection) led to the continual dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 (daily new cases) in the community during the study period. METHODS: We examined the policies used as a preventive framework for virus community transmission in some countries and compared them to the policies adopted by China and South Korea. Countries that used a policy of social distancing by 1-2 m were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of countries that implemented social distancing (1-2 m) only, and the second comprised China and South Korea, which implemented distancing with additional transmission/isolation measures using masks and city disinfection. Global daily case maps from Johns Hopkins University were used to provide time-series data for the analysis. RESULTS: The results showed that virus transmission was reduced due to policies affecting SARS-CoV-2 propagation over time. Remarkably, China and South Korea obtained substantially better results than other countries at the beginning of the epidemic due to their adoption of social distancing (1-2 m) with the additional use of masks and sanitization (city disinfection). These measures proved to be effective due to the atmosphere carrier potential of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that social distancing by 1-2 m with mask use and city disinfection yields positive outcomes. These strategies should be incorporated into prevention and control policies and be adopted both globally and by individuals as a method to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Disinfection , Global Health , Humans , Masks , Physical Distancing , Policy Making , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1009152, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142343

ABSTRACT

The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 leads to devastating COVID-19 infections around the world, which has affected both human health and the development of industries dependent on social gatherings. Sports events are one of the subgroups facing great challenges. The uncertainty of COVID-19 transmission in large-scale sports events is a great barrier to decision-making with regard to reopening auditoriums. Policymakers and health experts are trying to figure out better policies to balance audience experiences and COVID-19 infection control. In this study, we employed the generalized SEIR model in conjunction with the Wells-Riley model to estimate the effects of vaccination, nucleic acid testing, and face mask wearing on audience infection control during the 2021 Chinese Football Association Super League from 20 April to 5 August. The generalized SEIR modeling showed that if the general population were vaccinated by inactive vaccines at an efficiency of 0.78, the total number of infectious people during this time period would decrease from 43,455 to 6,417. We assumed that the general population had the same odds ratio of entering the sports stadiums and becoming the audience. Their infection probabilities in the stadium were further estimated by the Wells-Riley model. The results showed that if all of the 30,000 seats in the stadium were filled by the audience, 371 audience members would have become infected during the 116 football games in the 2021 season. The independent use of vaccination and nucleic acid testing would have decreased this number to 79 and 118, respectively. The combined use of nucleic acid testing and vaccination or face mask wearing would have decreased this number to 14 and 34, respectively. The combined use of all three strategies could have further decreased this number to 0. According to the modeling results, policymakers can consider the combined use of vaccination, nucleic acid testing, and face mask wearing to protect audiences from infection when holding sports events, which could create a balance between audience experiences and COVID-19 infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Humans , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
15.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277625, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140655

ABSTRACT

Face masks, recently adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19, have had the unintended consequence of increasing the difficulty of face recognition. In security applications, face recognition algorithms are used to identify individuals and present results for human review. This combination of human and algorithm capabilities, known as human-algorithm teaming, is intended to improve total system performance. However, prior work has shown that human judgments of face pair similarity-confidence can be biased by an algorithm's decision even in the case of an error by that algorithm. This can reduce team effectiveness, particularly for difficult face pairs. We conducted two studies to examine whether face masks, now routinely present in security applications, impact the degree to which this cognitive bias is experienced by humans. We first compared the influence of algorithm's decisions on human similarity-confidence ratings in the presence and absence of face masks and found that face masks more than doubled the influence of algorithm decisions on human similarity-confidence ratings. We then investigated if this increase in cognitive bias was dependent on perceived algorithm accuracy by also presenting algorithm accuracy rates in the presence of face masks. We found that making humans aware of the potential for algorithm errors mitigated the increase in cognitive bias due to face masks. Our findings suggest that humans reviewing face recognition algorithm decisions should be made aware of the potential for algorithm errors to improve human-algorithm team performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Facial Recognition , Humans , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , Algorithms , Judgment
16.
Trends Hear ; 26: 23312165221134378, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139084

ABSTRACT

Unhindered auditory and visual signals are essential for a sufficient speech understanding of cochlear implant (CI) users. Face masks are an important hygiene measurement against the COVID-19 virus but disrupt these signals. This study determinates the extent and the mechanisms of speech intelligibility alteration in CI users caused by different face masks. The audiovisual German matrix sentence test was used to determine speech reception thresholds (SRT) in noise in different conditions (audiovisual, audio-only, speechreading and masked audiovisual using two different face masks). Thirty-seven CI users and ten normal-hearing listeners (NH) were included. CI users showed a reduction in speech reception threshold of 5.0 dB due to surgical mask and 6.5 dB due to FFP2 mask compared to the audiovisual condition without mask. The greater proportion of reduction in SRT by mask could be accounted for by the loss of the visual signal (up to 4.5 dB). The effect of each mask was significantly larger in CI users who exclusively hear with their CI (surgical: 7.8 dB, p = 0.005 and FFP2: 8.7 dB, p = 0.01) compared to NH (surgical: 3.8 dB and FFP2: 5.1 dB). This study confirms that CI users who exclusively rely on their CI for hearing are particularly susceptible. Therefore, visual signals should be made accessible for communication whenever possible, especially when communicating with CI users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cochlear Implants , Speech Perception , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Pandemics , Speech Intelligibility
17.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e061029, 2022 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137708

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study aims to measure how transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs in communities and to identify conditions that lend to increased transmission focusing on congregate situations. We will measure SARS-CoV-2 in exhaled breath of asymptomatic and symptomatic persons using face mask sampling-a non-invasive method for SARS-CoV-2 detection in exhaled air. We aim to detect transmission clusters and identify risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 transmission in presymptomatic, asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In this observational prospective study with daily follow-up, index cases and their respective contacts are identified at each participating institution. Contact definitions are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health department guidelines. Participants will wear masks with polyvinyl alcohol test strips adhered to the inside for 2 hours daily. The strips are applied to all masks used over at least 7 days. In addition, self-administered nasal swabs and (optional) finger prick blood samples are performed by participants. Samples are tested by standard PCR protocols and by novel antigen tests. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board and the WHO Ethics Review Committee. From the data generated, we will analyse transmission clusters and risk factors for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in congregate settings. The kinetics of asymptomatic transmission and the evaluation of non-invasive tools for detection of transmissibility are of crucial importance for the development of more targeted control interventions-and ultimately to assist with keeping congregate settings open that are essential for our social fabric. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT05145803).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Observational Studies as Topic
18.
Psychogeriatrics ; 22(6): 786-794, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The most important disadvantage of surgical mask usage is that it can aversely affect communication. This study aimed to evaluate the possible effects of face masks on the cognitive test performance of older adults. METHODS: A total of 198 geriatric patients were enrolled after applying the exclusion criteria. Within the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), cognitive status assessment was performed with the Mini-Mental State Examination test (MMSE) and Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment Screening test (Q-MCI) tests. RESULTS: The median age was 70 (66-77) years, and there were 119 female (60.7%) patients. Patients were divided into normal cognitive status (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) groups. There were 129 (65.2%), 30 (15.2%), and 37 (18.7%) patients in each group, respectively. For differentiating MCI from NC, calculated optimal cut-offs for the Q-MCI and MMSE total scores were ≤50 (sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 90.7%) and ≤26 (sensitivity 63.3%, specificity 87.5%), respectively. For differentiating AD from MCI, calculated optimal cut-offs for the Q-MCI and MMSE total scores were ≤28 (sensitivity 76.8%, specificity 86.7%), and ≤24 (sensitivity 94.4%, specificity 64.5%), respectively. CONCLUSION: Our results revealed that screening tests are still sensitive in discriminating cognitive disorders although cut-offs are lower with mask usage than for previously validated cut-offs. This is the first study revealing the impact of surgical mask usage on cognitive test performance, indicating that cut-offs validated before the pandemic may cause overdiagnosing of cognitive disorders since the previous cut-offs are not validated for mask usage. Large sample studies are needed to determine new cut-offs validated with mask usage.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease , Cognitive Dysfunction , Humans , Female , Aged , Masks , Pandemics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Neuropsychological Tests , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis , Alzheimer Disease/diagnosis , Cognition
19.
Infect Dis Clin North Am ; 36(1): 15-37, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2130978

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a nonspecific viral illness caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and led to an ongoing global pandemic. Transmission is primarily human-to-human via contact with respiratory particles containing infectious virus. The risk of transmission to health care personnel is low with proper use of personal protective equipment, including gowns, gloves, N95 or surgical mask, and eye protection. Additional measures affecting the risk of transmission include physical distancing, hand hygiene, routine cleaning and disinfection, appropriate air handling and ventilation, and public health interventions such as universal masking and stay-at-home orders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Infection Control , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment
20.
J Speech Lang Hear Res ; 65(11): 4354-4368, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2126645

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of eight different facemasks on speech perception and listening effort in listeners with normal hearing (NH) and hearing loss by manipulating both mask type and background noise levels. METHOD: Forty adults listened to Quick Speech-in-Noise Test sentences recorded by a female talker through eight different facemasks including a baseline condition with no mask. Listeners were tested in the sound field positioned 6 ft from the loudspeaker. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) loss and listening effort were measured. RESULTS: Listeners with NH exhibited a mild SNR loss, whereas those with hearing loss experienced a moderate SNR loss. Scores for the mild hearing loss group were significantly poorer (higher) than those with slight hearing loss. Speech perception performance was best in the no mask, KN95, and surgical mask conditions and poorest in the cloth mask and cloth mask plus face shield conditions for all groups. As listening effort decreased, speech perception increased for all groups. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of different types of facemasks on speech perception in noise was demonstrated in this study indicating that as the SNR was reduced, listening effort increased and speech perception performance decreased for listeners with NH and slight/mild hearing loss. No mask, KN95, and surgical masks had the least impact on performance, whereas cloth masks posed a significant detriment to communication. If communication is to occur in a background of noise while wearing masks, a KN95 mask and an SNR of at least +15 dB is recommended regardless of hearing status.


Subject(s)
Hearing Loss , Speech Perception , Adult , Female , Humans , Masks , Listening Effort , Noise
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