October 25, 2006

JUST DON'T TRY WEARING ONE WHEN YOU MEET WITH GORDON BROWN:

Face Facts (LAWRENCE M. WEIN, 10/25/06, NY Times)

Our government must draw up a plan for educating the public about effective nonpharmaceutical interventions like hand washing and face protection like masks.

A prerequisite for doing so is determining the biggest culprit in spreading influenza: droplet transmission, in which an infected person sneezes or coughs directly into the mouth, nose or eyes of someone who is susceptible); contact transmission, in which virus is transferred via hands either directly, say, through a handshake, or indirectly through an object like a doorknob; and aerosol transmission, in which evaporated virus-containing particles are inhaled.

Remarkably, this issue has not been resolved: the Department of Health and Human Services’ Pandemic Influenza Plan states that “the relative clinical importance of each of these modes of transmission is not known.” As a result, the government enthusiastically endorses frequent hand washing — which would reduce contact transmission, and costs nothing — but remains noncommittal about face protection. While the government says that it might be beneficial, it doesn’t make respirators or masks available. Yet face protection would guard against aerosol and droplet transmission, and even reduce contact transmission by making it difficult to place fingers into one’s mouth or nose.


He's playing right into terrorists' hands.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2006 10:20 AM
Comments

One thing very noticeable about Japan, if you go, is that people with colds go around wearing surgical masks.

Posted by: John Thacker at October 25, 2006 10:27 AM

Barbarians.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 10:33 AM

Has the wide-spread wearing of surgical masks in Japan reduced the spread of colds? I bet not, because it's the germs on people's hands and shared things like telephones and door knobs that are the culprits.

Old fashioned scrubbing down of public areas with strong soap and the frequent washing of hands are far more effective than wearing masks.

Posted by: erp at October 25, 2006 11:43 AM

erp: So correct. Wash your hands and keep them away from your face.

Posted by: Bartman at October 25, 2006 12:18 PM

Erp knows. The way you keep from being sick ALL THE TIME when you work in a room full od schmorgly little kids is to keep washing your hands ALL THE TIME.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 25, 2006 2:10 PM

Erp knows. The way you keep from being sick ALL THE TIME when you work in a room full od schmorgly little kids is to keep washing your hands ALL THE TIME.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 25, 2006 2:10 PM

... and everywhere else.

Posted by: erp at October 25, 2006 7:18 PM
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