Do Face Shields Prevent Health Hazards?
Can facial masks actually help prevent the spread of this deadly coronavirus (RSV-CoV) that caused SARS-C? Yes, wearing facial masks together with other basic precautions, including frequent hand washing and avoidance of contact with an ill person’s bodily fluids, can help significantly slow down the progress of this virus. But why were face masks not recommended at first in the early stages of this epidemic?
During the early stages of this outbreak, the disease’s symptoms manifested themselves in a variety of ways and were so mild that they were mistaken for flu or cold. It did not make any sense to people who knew nothing about the disease or even about the symptoms that it causes to believe that it was a case of SARS or some other contagious respiratory disease. For example, the symptoms associated with SARS (severe cough, fever and chest discomfort) did not fit well with the symptoms of a common cold.
SARS, on the other hand, is a viral respiratory infection caused by a member of the family of coronaviruses, which are very contagious and cause symptoms similar to those of a respiratory infection. Like SARS, the cause of death in the early stages of this outbreak was due to the onset of pneumonia. It was also believed to be related to a patient’s history, for example, people who had recently travelled to the Middle East, where the SARS virus has been reported to be circulating. However, this was never confirmed.
Face masks have been suggested as a possible way to limit the outbreak of this virus. Although we do not know the exact cause of SARS, it is thought that the virus that causes SARS-C spreads by direct contact with the mucous membrane of one’s mouth, nose and throat. By using an anti-bacterial mask when entering the patient’s room and other areas where patients are frequently in contact with one another, doctors hoped to limit the chances of contamination because they could only see the symptoms and did not have direct contact with the patient’s body.
But how effective are face shields in stopping the virus from spreading through direct contact with the skin? In short, no research has been done. In fact, no research has ever been done at all on this aspect of SARS prevention. Therefore, it is impossible to say for sure that the use of face shields during this outbreak was an effective method of limiting the number of people who contracted it. However, most doctors, including myself, believe that wearing a face shield may have helped some people during this outbreak, especially those who were already sick.
Most health care workers are exposed to the virus through close contact with infected patients. However, those who were more immune to SARS or those who had a history of health problems were at greater risk during this outbreak because they had a greater chance of contracting SARS, or coming into contact with an ill person infected with SARS.
During the early phases of this outbreak, health care workers were particularly vulnerable, because they were rarely given protective clothing. They may have come in contact with other people who were already having problems with SARS or had a history of SARS. For example, these include people who had recently travelled to the Middle East, but also with those who had contact with patients with SARS. These people could have picked up the disease from other patients, shared bedding or other surfaces like rugs and tables.
Health care workers at hospitals were especially at risk during the early phases of this outbreak, as they were working with these patients for long periods of time. When a patient came in from outside the hospital or had their first episode of SARS, the nurse or doctor would often try to encourage them to go home immediately and avoid contact with anyone else until they felt better. However, as the outbreak continued, more health care workers became susceptible to catching the virus from other sick patients and were exposed to them even when they were not sick.