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One more reason to wear a mask: You'll get less sick from COVID-19

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Winston

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It's circumstantial evidence and except for the cruise ship experiences is based upon other viruses, but it still sounds reasonable.

One more reason to wear a mask: You'll get less sick from COVID-19
AUGUST 6, 2020


While it's true that most face masks are more effective in preventing you from launching droplets into the air than breathing in already dispersed droplets—that doesn't mean masks offer no protection to the wearer.

It's likely that face masks, by blocking even some of the virus-carrying droplets you inhale, can reduce your risk of falling seriously ill from COVID-19, according to Monica Gandhi, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at UC San Francisco.

"The more virus you get into your body, the more sick you are likely to get," she said.

In the latest wave of infections in the U.S., the wider use of masks may be one factor for the lower death rates, along with more testing, younger patients and better treatments, said Gandhi. A greater proportion of these new cases have been mild or asymptomatic, though more data is needed to see if they track geographically with higher rates of mask-wearing.

Worldwide, epidemiological patterns seem to provide a clue. In countries where mask wearing was already commonplace, such as Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and Singapore, and in countries where mask wearing was quickly embraced, such as the Czech Republic, rates of severe illness and death have remained comparatively low.

These epidemiological observations are among the evidence that Gandhi and colleagues cite in a paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, in which they propose that masks can lead to milder or asymptomatic infections by cutting down on the dose of virus people take in.

"Masks can prevent many infections altogether, as was seen in health care workers when we moved to universal masking. We're also saying that masks, which filter out a majority of viral particles, can lead to a less severe infection if you do get one," said Gandhi. "If you get infected, but have no symptoms—that's the best way you can ever get a virus."

The idea that viral dose, also known as viral inoculum, determines the degree of illness is not new, said Gandhi. Descriptions of a dose-mortality curve—how much of a virus is needed to cause death in an animal—were first published in 1938. And after all, the earliest vaccines, which were documented in 16th century China, involved exposing someone to a small amount of smallpox virus to induce mild illness and subsequent immunity.

A small number viral particles is more likely to be quelled by the immune system before they can proliferate, said Gandhi.

Researchers have studied dose dependency experimentally with other viral infections, like the flu. In a study with healthy volunteers, those who received a higher dose of the influenza A virus developed more severe symptoms.

In February, one of the first outbreaks of COVID-19 outside of China occurred on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. Of the 634 people on board who tested positive, about 18% of infections were asymptomatic. In March, an Argentinian cruise ship found itself in a similar predicament, but of the 128 people on board who eventually tested positive, 81% were asymptomatic.

A key difference, Gandhi noted, was that on the Argentinian ship, surgical masks were issued to all passengers and N95 masks to all staff as soon as the first passenger became sick.

More recently, an Oregon seafood processing plant where workers were required to wear face masks reported an outbreak of 124 cases, 95% of which were asymptomatic. Similarly, in a Tyson chicken processing plant outbreak in Arkansas where workers were provided mandatory masks, 455 out of 481, or nearly 95% were asymptomatic.
 

aerostadt

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This makes sense to me. The less virons taken in, the less the outbreak will be. The entire situation is complicated, but one of the reasons that might explain why some people get less sick than others is that the initial viron load is less.
 

Ez2cDave

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Dental Problems, “Mask Mouth” Linked to Consistent Use of Face Masks

https://www.thepatriotbrief.com/dental-problems-mask-mouth-linked-to-consistent-use-of-face-masks

In America, face masks are very much a controversial issue, even as health officials and politicians claim them as necessary tools to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Despite public figures endorsing the use of face coverings, many Americans are still not fully on board. Concerns range from topics to government overreach, mixed science about the effectiveness of masks, and even health issues from repeated usage of masks.

Now, dentists are coming forward and confirming the presence of health problems linked to consistently donning a face mask.

Washington Examiner reports that “mask mouth” is a name for a series of dental problems that are materializing from people ongoingly covering their noses and mouths with masks.

What You Need to Know About Mask Mouth

Multiple dentists in the nation have stated that gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, and gum inflammation are happening, following the trend of regular masking. Dentists making these reports also maintain that individuals coming down with “mask mouth” were healthy with no dental issues beforehand.

A new syndrome brought about by mask-wearing which the doctors have dubbed “mask mouth". The moisture trapped in #facemasks creates a petri dish of breeding ground for bacteria, as it is in place directly over your mouth.

More @ #Oralhealth2020
Details: https://t.co/zQRf0spz52 pic.twitter.com/OMoMLuHnoJ
— Venessa Domnic (@VenessaDomnic) August 8, 2020

The problem with face masks deals with their tendency to dry out wearers’ mouths. Dentists note that most people have a tendency to inhale and exhale through their mouths; however, when this is done while someone has on a face covering, their mouth becomes dry with time.

When the mouth gets dry, there is less saliva. This is extremely problematic, seeing as saliva not only helps people’s teeth stay clean, but also combats bad bacteria within the mouth.

Will the Issue of Mask Mouth Recieve Mainstream Attention?

Dentists’ reports of mask mouth began making the rounds online during Friday and Saturday. Many people with objections against mandatory face coverings have also drawn attention to these health issues that dentists are talking about.

Thus far, politicians and health officials have yet to address mask mouth. Many Democrats and even some Republicans have championed mask-wearing and stated that everyone should be wearing a mask. Democrats in Congress are even trying to mask legislation that would send “free” face coverings to everyone while costing the nation of billions of dollars.

Masks for all.
It shouldn’t be partisan or complicated.
We can save lives right now.
Let’s get it done. https://t.co/QCglsnCjo0
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 30, 2020

In the days and weeks to come, only time will tell whether or not the proponents of mandatory face masks will address the very real oral illness that is mask mouth.

What do you think about dentists’ reports of mask mouth? Should Americans be mandated to wear face coverings in spite of the documented health issues linked to doing so? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
 

OverTheTop

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Dentists note that most people have a tendency to inhale and exhale through their mouths; however, when this is done while someone has on a face covering, their mouth becomes dry with time.
This is a bit of a wide-sweeping statement that I would take up as not being the truth. Do you see lots of people walking down the street with their mouths open? I don't. There are some mouth breathing people around but IMHO they are not the majority. I would think if we dug into this article further some other exaggerated claims could be found.
 

Ez2cDave

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Is it still a free country? Last I checked it was...

It should be my right to choose. If I feel I need and want a mask then I should wear one. If I don't. Then I shouldn't. Period..

This isn't about a virus it's about your freedom and you are free to agree or disagree... With masks.. With me. Etc. Put you should not be able to force me to do something I do or don't agree with...
Well said . . . Agreed 100% !

This is all about control & compliance . . . Period !

Dave F.
 

Kelly

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Is it still a free country? Last I checked it was...

It should be my right to choose. If I feel I need and want a mask then I should wear one. If I don't. Then I shouldn't. Period..

This isn't about a virus it's about your freedom and you are free to agree or disagree... With masks.. With me. Etc. Put you should not be able to force me to do something I do or don't agree with...

Does this apply to speed limits in school zones, too? I've always thought it was BS that I should have to drop from 60mph to 20mph just because some kids are on their way to school. If they don't think it's safe to go out when I'm zipping by, they have the freedom of choice to stay home, just like I have the freedom to choose my speed.

Same with picking up my dog's sh$t in the park... why should I do it? If people don't like picnicking in dogsh!t, then stay home! Quit trying to tell ME how to live MY life. 🙄
 

Ez2cDave

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Does this apply to speed limits in school zones, too?
Actually, that really only serves to protect the school's liability, during school hours . . .

What is the speed limit, after kids get home, on school holidays, or on weekends, when kids are outside playing, sometimes in the street, itself ?

Dave F.
 

OverTheTop

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Actually, that really only serves to protect the school's liability, during school hours . . .

What is the speed limit, after kids get home, on school holidays, or on weekends, when kids are outside playing, sometimes in the street, itself ?

Dave F.
I think you will find it actually decreases the probability of injury or death for children in a significant quantity. The density of children around a school at school times is far greater than when dispersed throughout the suburbs the rest of the time.

Sometimes people are too stupid, or inconsiderate, to read the traffic conditions and drive accordingly. That's why the extra laws are required.
 

Kelly

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What is the speed limit, after kids get home, on school holidays, or on weekends, when kids are outside playing, sometimes in the street, itself ?
Why should I care? It's a free country, and my right to choose a speed that is safe for ME. If you don't think it's safe for you or your loved ones, stay home.
 

Kelly

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Me. " if I want to die from getting covid that's my choice".
Exactly, and you're right. If we were talking about something like a helmet law, or a seatbelt law, I would say "It's safer if you wear one, but it doesn't affect me (much), so make make your own decision about your safety".

But the whole purpose behind wearing a mask is to prevent spreading it to OTHER people - the fact that it may keep YOU safer is just a nice side effect. So, if you get COVID, and are asymptomatic for a while, and spread it to other people (like me) who DON'T want to die from COVID, then it becomes our business. No different than speed limits, "pick up after your dog", "all employees must wash hands before returning to work", and other laws meant to protect public safety.
 

cwbullet

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It’s about viral load. You’ll get less sick wearing a mask than if you go around licking door knobs.
I would say there is no proof you get a huge viral load licking doorknobs. That being said, it is stupid to do so. The real way you get a huge viral load is walking into the room with a ventilated patient or a crowd singing.
 

rklapp

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I would say there is no proof you get a huge viral load licking doorknobs. That being said, it is stupid to do so. The real way you get a huge viral load is walking into the room with a ventilated patient or a crowd singing.
Recommended by the CDC...

 

Steven

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No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.
 

Ez2cDave

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The real way you get a huge viral load is walking into the room with a ventilated patient or a crowd singing.
But, not in a huge crowd of screaming, chanting "Protesters" / Rioters / Domestic Terrorists, etc., right ?

Dave F.
 

Ez2cDave

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Outside is usually well ventilated, unlike inside.
Then, attending College & Professional sports in outdoor stadiums should be fine then . . . Same for NASCAR races, too ?

Dave F.
 

Steven

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One can argue that every law in the US is all about 'control and compliance'. Doesn't bother me.
 

OverTheTop

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Then, attending College & Professional sports in outdoor stadiums should be fine then . . . Same for NASCAR races, too ?
Probably stadium and weather dependent. I know of some stadiums in the Middle East that are airconditioned. Same as with protests etc, better to err on the side of caution as there are too many variables.

Interestingly, earlier this year there was a BLM protest in the city. There was no massive spike in numbers due to that event, but people did wear a lot of masks and social distance. Our numbers at that time were also very small. We probably got lucky to some extent.
 
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