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1.
J Patient Saf ; 17(4): 323-330, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231053

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although recommendations to prevent COVID-19 healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have been proposed, data on their effectivity are currently limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to evaluate the effectivity of a program of control and prevention of COVID-19 in an academic general hospital in Spain. METHODS: We captured the number of COVID-19 cases and the type of contact that occurred in hospitalized patients and healthcare personnel (HCP). To evaluate the impact of the continuous use of a surgical mask among HCP, the number of patients with COVID-19 HAIs and accumulated incidence of HCP with COVID-19 was compared between the preintervention and intervention periods. RESULTS: Two hundred fifty-two patients with COVID-19 have been admitted to the hospital. Seven of them had an HAI origin (6 in the preintervention period and 1 in the intervention period). One hundred forty-two HCP were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Of them, 22 (15.5%) were attributed to healthcare (2 in the emergency department and none in the critical care departments), and 120 (84.5%) were attributed to social relations in the workplace or during their non-work-related personal interactions. The accumulated incidence during the preintervention period was 22.3 for every 1000 HCP and 8.2 for every 1000 HCP during the intervention period. The relative risk was 0.37 (95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 0.55) and the attributable risk was -0.014 (95% confidence interval, -0.020 to -0.009). CONCLUSIONS: A program of control and prevention of HAIs complemented with the recommendation for the continuous use of a surgical mask in the workplace and social environments of HCP effectively decreased the risk of COVID-19 HAIs in admitted patients and HCP.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/statistics & numerical data , Male , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Program Evaluation , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain/epidemiology
2.
Membranes (Basel) ; 11(4)2021 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159455

ABSTRACT

Wearing face masks, use of respirators, social distancing, and practicing personal hygiene are all measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This pandemic has revealed the deficiency of face masks and respirators across the world. Therefore, significant efforts are needed to develop air filtration and purification technologies, as well as innovative, alternative antibacterial and antiviral treatment methods. It has become urgent-in order for humankind to have a sustainable future-to provide a feasible solution to air pollution, particularly to capture fine inhalable particulate matter in the air. In this review, we present, concisely, the air pollutants and adverse health effects correlated with long- and short-term exposure to humans; we provide information about certified face masks and respirators, their compositions, filtration mechanisms, and the variations between surgical masks and N95 respirators, in order to alleviate confusion and misinformation. Then, we summarize the electrospun nanofiber-based filters and their unique properties to improve the filtration efficiency of face masks and respirators.

3.
J Trauma Acute Care Surg ; 90(4): e72-e80, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145212

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care facilities in low- and middle-income countries are inadequately resourced to adhere to current COVID-19 prevention recommendations. Recommendations for surgical emergency trauma care measures need to be adequately informed by available evidence and adapt to particular settings. To inform future recommendations, we set to summarize the effects of different personal protective equipment (PPE) on the risk of COVID-19 infection in health personnel caring for trauma surgery patients. METHODS: We conducted an umbrella review using Living Overview of Evidence platform for COVID-19, which performs regular automated searches in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and more than 30 other sources. Systematic reviews of experimental and observational studies assessing the efficacy of PPE were included. Indirect evidence from other health care settings was also considered. Risk of bias was assessed with the AMSTAR II tool (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews, Ottawa, ON, Canada), and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach for grading the certainty of the evidence is reported (registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, CRD42020198267). RESULTS: Eighteen studies that fulfilled the selection criteria were included. There is high certainty that the use of N95 respirators and surgical masks is associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 when compared with no mask use. In moderate- to high-risk environments, N95 respirators are associated with a further reduction in risk of COVID-19 infection compared with surgical masks. Eye protection also reduces the risk of contagion in this setting. Decontamination of masks and respirators with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, or dry heat is effective and does not affect PPE performance or fit. CONCLUSION: The use of PPE drastically reduces the risk of COVID-19 compared with no mask use in health care workers. N95 and equivalent respirators provide more protection than surgical masks. Decontamination and reuse appear feasible to overcome PPE shortages and enhance the allocation of limited resources. These effects are applicable to emergency trauma care and should inform future recommendations. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Review, level II.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Infection Control , Masks , N95 Respirators , Surgery Department, Hospital , Trauma Centers , COVID-19/epidemiology , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Masks/standards , Masks/virology , N95 Respirators/standards , N95 Respirators/virology , Personal Protective Equipment/classification , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2
4.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(50): 56579-56586, 2020 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952789

ABSTRACT

Surgical mask is recommended by the World Health Organization for personal protection against disease transmission. However, most of the surgical masks on the market are disposable that cannot be self-sterilized for reuse. Thus, when confronting the global public health crisis, a severe shortage of mask resource is inevitable. In this paper, a novel low-cost electrothermal mask with excellent self-sterilization performance and portability is reported to overcome this shortage. First, a flexible, ventilated, and conductive cloth tape is patterned and adhered to the surface of a filter layer made of melt-blown nonwoven fabrics (MNF), which functions as interdigital electrodes. Then, a graphene layer with premier electric and thermal conductivity is coated onto the MNF. Operating under a low voltage of 3 V, the graphene-modified MNF (mod-MNF) can quickly generate large amounts of heat to achieve a high temperature above 80 °C, which can kill the majority of known viruses attached to the filter layer and the mask surface. Finally, the optimized graphene-modified masks based on the mod-MNF filter retain a relatively high particulate matter (PM) removal efficiency and a low-pressure drop. Moreover, the electrothermal masks can maintain almost the same PM removal efficiency over 10 times of electrifying, suggesting its outstanding reusability.

5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121896

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Safety in medical work requires eye protection, such as glasses, and protective facial masks (PFM) during clinical practice to prevent viral respiratory infections. The use of facial masks and other full personal protective equipment increases air flow resistance, facial skin temperature and physical discomfort. The aim of the present study was to measure surgeons' oxygenation status and discomfort before and after their daily routine activities of oral interventions. METHODS: 10 male voluntary dentists, specializing in oral surgery, and 10 male voluntary doctors in dentistry, participating in master's courses in oral surgery in the Department of Oral Surgery of the University of Chieti, with mean age 29 ± 6 (27-35), were enrolled. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of wearing a PFM on oxygenation status while the oral surgeons were actively working. Disposable sterile one-way surgical paper masks (Surgical Face Mask, Euronda, Italy) and FFP2 (Surgical Face Mask, Euronda, Italy) were used and the mask position covering the nose did not vary during the procedures. The FFP2 was covered by a surgical mask during surgical treatment. A pulse oximeter was used to measure the blood oximetry saturation during the study. RESULTS: In all 20 surgeons wearing FFP2 covered by surgical masks, a reduction in arterial O2 saturation from around 97.5% before surgery to 94% after surgery was recorded with increase of heart rates. A shortness of breath and light-headedness/headaches were also noted. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, wearing an FFP2 covered by a surgical mask induces a reduction in circulating O2 concentrations without clinical relevance, while an increase of heart frequency and a sensation of shortness of breath, light-headedness/headaches were recorded.


Subject(s)
Heart Rate , Masks , Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons , Oxygen/blood , Adult , Humans , Italy , Male , Young Adult
6.
Clin Epidemiol Glob Health ; 10: 100702, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062268

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In the absence of specific treatment, preventive strategies are of paramount importance in management of coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) pandemic. We estimated cost-effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions such as hand-hygiene, surgical-mask N-95 respirators and surgical mask in general population. METHODS: We performed a decision tree and markov-model based economic evaluation. We estimated total costs and outcomes from public payer's perspective, based on information available through systematic literature search on relative intervention effect during early pandemic phase. We estimated outcomes as number COVID-19 prevented and Quality Adjusted life year (QALY) over one-year time-horizon with one-day cycle-length. Incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICER) was calculated multiple sensitivity analyses were applied to assess parameter uncertainty. RESULTS: Use of surgical mask with hand hygiene, fit tested N-95 respirator, surgical-mask, non-fit tested N-95 and hand-hygiene interventions prevented additional 1139, 1124, 1121, 1043 and 975 COVID-19 cases per-million as compared to using none. Additional costs incurred (in billion) were ₹29.78 ($0.40), ₹148.09 ($1.99), ₹72.51 ($0.98), ₹26.84 ($0.36) and ₹2.48 ($0.03) as well as additional QALYs gained were 357.4, 353.01, 327.95, 351.52 and 307.04 for surgical mask with hand hygiene, fit-tested N-95, non-fit-tested N-95, surgical mask and hand-hygiene respectively. ICERs with surgical with hand hygiene, hand-hygiene alone, surgical-mask alone, N-95 respirator fit and non-fit test were 83.32($1.12), 8.07($0.11), 76.36($1.03), 419.51($5.65) and 221.10 ($2.98) million ₹ ($)/QALY respectively. Results were robust on uncertainty analysis. DISCUSSION: Among the non-pharmacological interventions to be considered for preventing spread of COVID-19, hand hygiene was cost-effective and avoidance of use of surgical masks and respirators by the general public could save resources.

7.
Ann Work Expo Health ; 65(4): 463-474, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1031448

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) and surgical masks are comprised of multiple layers of nonwoven polypropylene. Tight-fitting N95 FFRs are respiratory protective devices (RPDs) designed to efficiently filter aerosols. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers (HCWs) throughout the world continue to face shortages of disposable N95 FFRs. Existing version of widely available FDA cleared loose-fitting surgical masks with straps do not provide reliable protection against aerosols. We tested the faceseal of a modified strapless form-fitting sealed version of surgical mask using quantitative fit testing (QNFT) and compared the performance of this mask with that of N95 FFRs and unmodified loose-fitting surgical masks. METHODS: Twenty HCWs participated in the study (10 women; 10 men; age 23-59 years). To create the sealed surgical masks, we removed the straps from loose-fitting surgical masks, made new folds, and used adhesive medical tape to secure the new design. All participants underwent QNFT with a loose-fitting surgical mask, the sealed surgical mask, and an N95 FFR; fit factors were recorded. Each QNFT was performed using a protocol of four exercises: (i) bending over, (ii) talking, (iii) moving head side to side, and (iv) moving head up and down. When the overall fit factor for the sealed surgical mask or N95 FFR was <100, the participant retook the test. Participants scored the breathability and comfort of the sealed surgical mask and N95 FFR on a visual analog scale (VAS) ranging from 0 (unfavorable) to 10 (favorable). RESULTS: The median fit factor for the sealed surgical mask (53.8) was significantly higher than that of the loose-fitting surgical mask (3.0) but lower than that of the N95 FFR (177.0) (P < 0.001), equating to significantly lower inward leakage of ambient aerosols (measuring 0.04-0.06 µm) with the sealed surgical mask (geometric mean 1.79%; geometric standard deviation 1.45%; range 0.97-4.03%) than with the loose-fitting surgical mask (29.5%; 2.01%; 25-100.0%) but still higher than with the N95 FFR (0.66%; 1.46%; 0.50-1.97%) (P < 0.001). Sealed surgical masks led to a marked reduction (range 60-98%) in inward leakage of aerosols in all the participants, compared to loose-fitting surgical masks. Among the exercises, talking had a greater effect on reducing overall fit factor for the sealed surgical mask than for the N95 FFR; when talking was excluded, the fit factor for the sealed surgical mask improved significantly (median 53.8 to 81.5; P < 0.001). The sealed surgical mask, when compared with the N95 FFR, offered better reported breathability (median VAS 9 versus 5; P < 0.001) and comfort (9 versus 5; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Widely available loose-fitting surgical masks can be easily modified to achieve faceseal with adhesives. Unlike loose-fitting surgical masks, sealed surgical masks can markedly reduce inward leakage of aerosols and may therefore offer useful levels of respiratory protection during an extreme shortage of N95 FFRs and could benefit HCWs who cannot comply with N95 FFRs due to intolerance. However, because a wide range of surgical masks is commercially available, individual evaluation of such masks is highly recommended before sealed versions are used as RPDs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Adult , Female , Filtration , Humans , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , N95 Respirators , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
Cureus ; 12(11): e11767, 2020 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011756

ABSTRACT

Background The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted the globe dramatically. It has affected daily life noticeably and the teaching process is one of the significantly affected aspects as the learning approach has been shifted to distance learning (DL). These new changes may affect student performance and emotional well-being. This study aimed to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning on healthcare students. Method An online self-administered cross-sectional survey was distributed to healthcare students for the period between April 2020 to June 2020. The study included students from different universities in Saudi Arabia. Knowledge and perception of COVID-19 and the experience of distance learning during the pandemic period were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale. Psychological effect was evaluated using Four-Item Patient Health Questionnaire for Anxiety and Depression (PHQ-4). Results A total of 721 students completed the survey with the majority being females. Around 25% of students had experienced anxiety, while 35% had depression. Severe anxiety and depression were noted in over 6% of the participants. Younger age and female gender were more affected psychologically. Students with higher scores in PHQ-4 were strongly disagreeing that hand gloves and surgical masks may help in preventing COVID-19 transmission. Students with normal psychological assessment were more likely to favor DL, while students with moderate to severe anxiety and depression disagreed. Conclusion Healthcare students have alarmingly high levels of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. General knowledge of the pandemic is not associated with the psychological impact. DL is a convenient approach for students with normal PHQ-4 scores. Programs to help students overcome the psychological impact of COVID-19 are highly recommended.

9.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0242901, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recently, several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have evaluated the effect of N95 respirators compared with medical masks to protect against acute respiratory infections. However, these studies are limited by modest sample sizes and inconclusive results. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to review the relevant and available published RCTs with the aid of the increased power of meta-analytic methods in order to assess the effectiveness of medical masks and N95 respirators in reducing the risk of respiratory infections. METHODS: This meta-analysis follows the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement for conducting and reporting results. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane databases from inception through April 1, 2020 to identify potentially relevant studies. Two authors (LS and JS) independently searched the titles and abstracts of the potentially eligible articles. They independently retrieved required data from the eligible trials; the data were initially tabulated for statistical analysis. Two authors (JRL and LS) independently assessed the methodological quality of the included RCTs using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias. RESULTS: Six articles met the inclusion criteria. The pooled analysis showed that N95 respirators did not reduce the risk of infection with respiratory viruses compared with medical/surgical masks (5.7% vs. 7.9%; RR = 1.12; 95% CI: 0.88-1.41; p = 0.36); however, there was no statistically significant difference in laboratory-confirmed influenza between N95 and medical masks (RR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.77-1.07; p = 0.26). Medical masks provided similar protection against other viruses, including coronavirus (RR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.32-1.73; p = 0.49). Respiratory illness, as well as influenza-like illness were less frequently observed with N95 respirators. CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis suggests that there are insufficient data to definitively determine whether N95 respirators are superior to medical masks in protection against transmissible acute respiratory infections. Further randomized trials are necessary to compare the above methods of respiratory protection in the context of COVID-19 incidence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , N95 Respirators , Respiratory Protective Devices , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(3): 335-343, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965786

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Observational evidence suggests that mask wearing mitigates transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is uncertain if this observed association arises through protection of uninfected wearers (protective effect), via reduced transmission from infected mask wearers (source control), or both. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether recommending surgical mask use outside the home reduces wearers' risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in a setting where masks were uncommon and not among recommended public health measures. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial (DANMASK-19 [Danish Study to Assess Face Masks for the Protection Against COVID-19 Infection]). (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04337541). SETTING: Denmark, April and May 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Adults spending more than 3 hours per day outside the home without occupational mask use. INTERVENTION: Encouragement to follow social distancing measures for coronavirus disease 2019, plus either no mask recommendation or a recommendation to wear a mask when outside the home among other persons together with a supply of 50 surgical masks and instructions for proper use. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 infection in the mask wearer at 1 month by antibody testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or hospital diagnosis. The secondary outcome was PCR positivity for other respiratory viruses. RESULTS: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%). The between-group difference was -0.3 percentage point (95% CI, -1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results. Although the difference observed was not statistically significant, the 95% CIs are compatible with a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection. LIMITATION: Inconclusive results, missing data, variable adherence, patient-reported findings on home tests, no blinding, and no assessment of whether masks could decrease disease transmission from mask wearers to others. CONCLUSION: The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: The Salling Foundations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Denmark/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Humans , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Med Lav ; 111(5): 365-371, 2020 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the Covid-19 outbreak, a recurrent subject in scientific literature has been brought back into discussion: whether surgical masks provide a sufficient protection against airborne SARS-CoV-2 infections. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review is to summarize the available studies which have compared the respective effectiveness of surgical masks and filtering facepiece respirators  for the prevention of infections caused by viruses that are transmitted by the respiratory tract. METHODS: The relevant scientific literature was identified by querying the PubMed database with a combination of search strings. The narrower search string "(surgical mask *) AND (respirator OR respirators)" included all the relevant articles retrieved using broader search strategies. Of all the relevant articles found, seven systematic reviews were selected and examined. RESULTS: The currently available scientific evidence seems to suggest that surgical masks and N95 respirators/FFP2 confer an equivalent degree of protection against airborne viral infections. DISCUSSION: Since surgical masks are less expensive than N95 respirators but seem to be as effective in protecting against airborne infection and they are also more comfortable for the user, requiring less respiratory work, they should be the standard protective device for health care workers and especially for workers who carry out non-medical jobs. Filtering facepiece respirators, whose extended use is less comfortable for the wearer, may be preferred for procedures which require greater protection for a shorter time.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Masks , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 563319, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Living in the time of the COVID-19 means experiencing not only a global health emergency but also extreme psychological stress with potential emotional side effects such as sadness, grief, irritability, and mood swings. Crucially, lockdown and confinement measures isolate people who become the first and the only ones in charge of their own mental health: people are left alone facing a novel and potentially lethal situation, and, at the same time, they need to develop adaptive strategies to face it, at home. In this view, easy-to-use, inexpensive, and scientifically validated self-help solutions aiming to reduce the psychological burden of coronavirus are extremely necessary. AIMS: This pragmatic trial aims to provide the evidence that a weekly self-help virtual reality (VR) protocol can help overcome the psychological burden of the Coronavirus by relieving anxiety, improving well-being, and reinforcing social connectedness. The protocol will be based on the "Secret Garden" 360 VR video online (www.covidfeelgood.com) which simulates a natural environment aiming to promote relaxation and self-reflection. Three hundred sixty-degree or spherical videos allow the user to control the viewing direction. In this way, the user can explore the content from any angle like a panorama and experience presence and immersion. The "Secret Garden" video is combined with daily exercises that are designed to be experienced with another person (not necessarily physically together), to facilitate a process of critical examination and eventual revision of core assumptions and beliefs related to personal identity, relationships, and goals. METHODS: This is a multicentric, pragmatic pilot randomized controlled trial involving individuals who experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and underwent a lockdown and quarantine procedures. The trial is approved by the Ethics Committee of the Istituto Auxologico Italiano. Each research group in all the countries joining the pragmatic trial, aims at enrolling at least 30 individuals in the experimental group experiencing the self-help protocol, and 30 in the control group, over a period of 3 months to verify the feasibility of the intervention. CONCLUSION: The goal of this protocol is for VR to become the "surgical mask" of mental health treatment. Although surgical masks do not provide the wearer with a reliable level of protection against the coronavirus compared with FFP2 or FFP3 masks, surgical masks are very effective in protecting others from the wearer's respiratory emissions. The goal of the VR protocol is the same: not necessarily to solve complex mental health problems but rather to improve well-being and preserve social connectedness through the beneficial social effects generated by positive emotions.

13.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(10): 1196-1206, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779893

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the current absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, public health responses aim to break the chain of infection by focusing on the mode of transmission. We reviewed the current evidence on the transmission dynamics and on pathogenic and clinical features of COVID-19 to critically identify any gaps in the current infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines. METHODS: In this study, we reviewed global COVID-19 IPC guidelines by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Guidelines from 2 high-income countries (Australia and United Kingdom) and from 1 middle-income country (China) were also reviewed. We searched publications in English on 'PubMed' and Google Scholar. We extracted information related to COVID-19 transmission dynamics, clinical presentations, and exposures that may facilitate transmission. We then compared these findings with the recommended IPC measures. RESULTS: Nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings occurs through droplets, aerosols, and the oral-fecal or fecal-droplet route. However, the IPC guidelines fail to cover all transmission modes, and the recommendations also conflict with each other. Most guidelines recommend surgical masks for healthcare providers during routine care and N95 respirators for aerosol-generating procedures. However, recommendations regarding the type of face mask varied, and the CDC recommends cloth masks when surgical masks are unavailable. CONCLUSION: IPC strategies should consider all the possible routes of transmission and should target all patient care activities involving risk of person-to-person transmission. This review may assist international health agencies in updating their guidelines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aerosols/analysis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Global Health , Health Personnel , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(9): 914-924, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670335

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has been associated with infections and deaths among health-care workers. This Viewpoint of infectious aerosols is intended to inform appropriate infection control measures to protect health-care workers. Studies of cough aerosols and of exhaled breath from patients with various respiratory infections have shown striking similarities in aerosol size distributions, with a predominance of pathogens in small particles (<5 µm). These are immediately respirable, suggesting the need for personal respiratory protection (respirators) for individuals in close proximity to patients with potentially virulent pathogens. There is no evidence that some pathogens are carried only in large droplets. Surgical masks might offer some respiratory protection from inhalation of infectious aerosols, but not as much as respirators. However, surgical masks worn by patients reduce exposures to infectious aerosols to health-care workers and other individuals. The variability of infectious aerosol production, with some so-called super-emitters producing much higher amounts of infectious aerosol than most, might help to explain the epidemiology of super-spreading. Airborne infection control measures are indicated for potentially lethal respiratory pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Particle Size , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 9(1): 100, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-657352

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by aerosols, to provide evidence on the rational use of masks, and to discuss additional measures important for the protection of healthcare workers from COVID-19. METHODS: Literature review and expert opinion. SHORT CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing COVID-19, is considered to be transmitted via droplets rather than aerosols, but droplets with strong directional airflow support may spread further than 2 m. High rates of COVID-19 infections in healthcare-workers (HCWs) have been reported from several countries. Respirators such as filtering face piece (FFP) 2 masks were designed to protect HCWs, while surgical masks were originally intended to protect patients (e.g., during surgery). Nevertheless, high quality standard surgical masks (type II/IIR according to European Norm EN 14683) appear to be as effective as FFP2 masks in preventing droplet-associated viral infections of HCWs as reported from influenza or SARS. So far, no head-to-head trials with these masks have been published for COVID-19. Neither mask type completely prevents transmission, which may be due to inappropriate handling and alternative transmission pathways. Therefore, compliance with a bundle of infection control measures including thorough hand hygiene is key. During high-risk procedures, both droplets and aerosols may be produced, reason why respirators are indicated for these interventions.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Air Microbiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protective Devices , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 15(5): e43-e48, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-648326

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this investigation was to identify, synthesize, and compare all the current information on the efficacy of dental masks, emphasizing their use, types, and filters to prevent the spread and infection of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. A bibliographic search of the main scientific databases was carried out using the words "masks, COVID-19, and dentistry." Articles without language restriction up to May 31, 2020, were obtained. The types of masks, their half-life, method to use, sterilization, and proposed alternatives for dental masks were analyzed. Most of the articles refer to the use of N95 or FFP2 respirators presented as a strategy to extend the life of the masks and limited reuse. Regarding sterilization, most of the articles presented studies using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as the sterilization method. Regarding respirator mask half-life, we recommend prolonged use, combined with a disposable surgical mask over the respirator mask. Finally, the use of N95 or FFP2 respirators are recommended as part of personal protective equipment for dental use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sterilization , Ventilators, Mechanical
17.
PLoS One ; 15(6): e0234025, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505720

ABSTRACT

Protecting Health Care Workers (HCWs) during routine care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients is of paramount importance to halt the SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2) pandemic. The WHO, ECDC and CDC have issued conflicting guidelines on the use of respiratory filters (N95) by HCWs. We searched PubMed, Embase and The Cochrane Library from the inception to March 21, 2020 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing N95 respirators versus surgical masks for prevention of COVID-19 or any other respiratory infection among HCWs. The grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) was used to evaluate the quality of evidence. Four RCTs involving 8736 HCWs were included. We did not find any trial specifically on prevention of COVID-19. However, wearing N95 respirators can prevent 73 more (95% CI 46-91) clinical respiratory infections per 1000 HCWs compared to surgical masks (2 RCTs; 2594 patients; low quality of evidence). A protective effect of N95 respirators in laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.41; 95%CI 0.28-0.61) was also found. A trend in favour of N95 respirators was observed in preventing laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections, laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection, and influenza like illness. We found no direct high quality evidence on whether N95 respirators are better than surgical masks for HCWs protection from SARS-CoV-2. However, low quality evidence suggests that N95 respirators protect HCWs from clinical respiratory infections. This finding should be contemplated to decide the best strategy to support the resilience of healthcare systems facing the potentially catastrophic SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Infection Control , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Evid Based Med ; 13(2): 93-101, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-8439

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Previous meta-analyses concluded that there was insufficient evidence to determine the effect of N95 respirators. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks for prevention of influenza by collecting randomized controlled trials (RCTs). METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMbase and The Cochrane Library from the inception to January 27, 2020 to identify relevant systematic reviews. The RCTs included in systematic reviews were identified. Then we searched the latest published RCTs from the above three databases and searched ClinicalTrials.gov for unpublished RCTs. Two reviewers independently extracted the data and assessed risk of bias. Meta-analyses were conducted to calculate pooled estimates by using RevMan 5.3 software. RESULTS: A total of six RCTs involving 9 171 participants were included. There were no statistically significant differences in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza (RR = 1.09, 95% CI 0.92-1.28, P > .05), laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infections (RR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.70-1.11), laboratory-confirmed respiratory infection (RR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.42-1.29) and influenzalike illness (RR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.33-1.14) using N95 respirators and surgical masks. Meta-analysis indicated a protective effect of N95 respirators against laboratory-confirmed bacterial colonization (RR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.78). CONCLUSION: The use of N95 respirators compared with surgical masks is not associated with a lower risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza. It suggests that N95 respirators should not be recommended for general public and nonhigh-risk medical staff those are not in close contact with influenza patients or suspected patients.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Masks , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Influenza, Human/transmission , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
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