Harvard’s Joseph Allen says ‘everyone should wear N95 mask’


There has been a call for the federal government to ensure that high-filtration masks are available for all essential workers and that the general public is growing.

Joseph Allen, an associate professor and director of the Healthy Building Program at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, For op-ed The washington post On Tuesday, presenting a case for why “everyone” should wear the N95 mask at this point COVID-19 Ubiquitous epidemic.

Allen is not the only local public health expert pushing for a “better mask” as the epidemic continues. His colleagues at Harvard Medical School, Drs. Abrar Karan and Drs. Ranu Dhillon, Pushing for a national initiative Will distribute high-filtration masks such as the N95 to every household in the United States.

“I’m not alone in calling for a better mask, and certainly not the first,” Allen wrote. “But I am joining the chorus calling for them. This may be the key to slowing the epidemic and spreading to newer more high-prevalence variants, until we are all vaccinated. “

While a typical cloth mask is expected to occupy half of the released respiratory aerosol when someone talks or just breathes, high-filtration masks such as the N95S filter 95 percent, Allen wrote . The potential risk for two people wearing N95s has decreased by 99 percent.

“In the early days of the epidemic of information and equipment, it was acceptable to say that any cloth mask would do that because it is true,” Allen wrote. “No face covering is better than anyone. But we have learned a lot since then, and we need to adjust our strategy. “

The professor said that at this point in the epidemic there is no reason why an essential worker – or anyone else – should be without a better mask.

Before the epidemic, N95s cost around 50 cents and were easy to manufacture according to Allen.

“We can reduce the risk by 99 percent for the $ 1 a mask should have,” he wrote. “(Prices are now higher due to failure to produce adequate supplies.) Throw in some distance between people with better ventilation and more, and you have hospital-grade security.”

Dr., an infectious disease physician and medical director of the special pathogen unit at Boston Medical Center. According to Nahid Bhadalia, not only does the United States need a national effort to get hi-fi masks to the public, the government should begin issuing a standard for available masks.

“It is unacceptable that we have the greatest use of PPE in history by the American public and that the quality of these masks is not being moderated, standardized, or regulated,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s not just about the N95. They may not work in every situation, but have other properties for masks aside from filtration efficiency, including fit and seal, the ability to withstand moisture (from sweat and saliva) and so on. These properties can be improved in consumer masks. “

What is necessary is equal Operation Warp SpeedThe government began to accelerate the development, production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine under the Trump administration with the aim of “high quality cheap PPE and better ventilation in public places”.

“Don’t get me wrong – a mask is better than a mask without it,” she wrote. Wear the mask. Using [the] An excuse for a high quality mask for not wearing a mask is like rejecting a rescue because you were not given a boat at that time. “

During the town hall Wednesday night on CNN, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Drs. Anthony Fauci and a top medical advisor to President Joe Biden on COVID-19, and Drs. Rochelle Wallensky, Center for New Head of Disease Control and Prevention and Massachusetts General Hospital’s former infectious disease chief, Were asked About the push for a better mask. Both doctors said that the general public is not required to wear the N95 mask.

Boston doctors Karan and Dhillon, who have been vocal advocates for a hi-fi mask program, expressed frustration on social media about the backlash from Fauci and Valensky.

“We need to do everything we can [to] Dhillon wrote in a Twitter thread, rejecting the top officials’ argument, “Now stop broadcasting to save lives and stop vaccination to stop the spread and timing of the fast-spreading deadly variant.” ”

Karan reiterated in his own thread that the logic of providing better masks is not as simple as “mass-producing N95s”.

“You still need to make sure that the fit is correct and that people are using them consistently during high transmission risk situations both and sometimes indoors.”

Until there was a federal leadership to expand access to high filtration masks and better guide their use, Allen wrote Op-ed If you cannot find a better mask for the “double-mask” using surgical masks and cloth masks.

“The surgical mask provides you with good, certified filtration, while the cloth mask on top helps improve the fit,” he wrote. “Research suggests that it can achieve over 90 percent filtration.”


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