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View Diary: What Does The Swine Flu Outbreak Mean? (332 comments)

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    Masks, hand washing, prevent spread of flu-like symptoms by up to 50 percent

    ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Wearing masks and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers may prevent the spread of flu symptoms by as much as 50 percent, a landmark new study suggests.

    In a first-of-its-kind look at the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in controlling the spread of the flu virus in a community setting, researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health studied more than 1,000 student subjects from seven U-M residence halls during last year's flu season.

    "The first-year results (2006-2007) indicate that mask use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer help reduce influenza- like illness rates, ranging from 10 to 50 percent over the study period," said Allison Aiello, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-M SPH. Dr. Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology, is also a principal investigator of the study.

    Aiello stressed the first year of the two-year project, called M-Flu, was a very mild flu season and only a few cases were positive for flu, so results should be interpreted cautiously. Ongoing studies will test for other viruses that may be responsible for the influenza-like illness symptoms observed, she said.

    "Nevertheless, these initial results are encouraging since masks and hand hygiene may be effective for preventing a range of respiratory illnesses," Aiello said.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/...

    Arnold Monto is an extremely well known and well respected researcher in the field.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "Facemask stop spread by PERSON WEARING THEM" (0+ / 0-)

      "Facemasks help stop droplets from being spread by the person wearing them."

      People wearing them to prevent inhalation are being silly except in exceptional situations mostly in hospitals and even then using much higher grade masks.

      "stop yelling at me every time I correct you"

      A few problems with your request.

      1. You were in error per your source per the direct quote from it above.
      1. Emphasis is justified when errors are posted.
      1. This is a silent medium, capitalization is for emphasis, there's no sound involved. Bold can also be used.
      •  you aren't correct and every time (0+ / 0-)

        we have this type of discussion you simply repeat post the same single piece of information thats you have generally misinterpreted in the first place.

        I expect you to do it again, of course. But here's the nuanced detail you are not getting:

        Masks are designed for particle size. It is unknown as to whether small particles (N-95) or large particles (simple masks) are more important. If you have N-95 masks, use them. If you have only simple masks, use them. If you run out of N-95s (and you will) use simple masks.

        That's why HHS recommends them.

        "I'm an LHJ administrator with 25-plus years experience and I'm stunned at the narrowness and insensitivity of the epi [sic] community on this issue.

        Masks are far from perfect, but in a pandemic where
        we're without effective pharmaceuticals, they are one
        of the few tools available to reduce (no one says fully prevent) transmission. Only a fool in a very high ivory tower would want to withhold this from the public."

        http://www.google.com/...

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:06:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CDC on Swine Flu Prevention...no masks...sorry. (0+ / 0-)

          US Center for Disease Control

          Swine Influenza and You

          What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

          There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

             * Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
             * Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are
               also effective.
             * Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
             * If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread
               this way.

          •  you're not listening nor understanding (0+ / 0-)

            You're just looking for anything that supports your contention. I wouldn't care except other people are reading on a very important topic.

            This official policy:

            http://www.pandemicflu.gov/...

            Summary of Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use in Certain Community Settings during an Influenza Pandemic

            Information on the use of facemasks1 and respirators2 for the control of pandemic influenza in community settings is extremely limited. Thus, it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in controlling influenza in these settings. In the absence of clear scientific data, the interim recommendations below have been developed on the basis of public health judgment and the historical use of facemasks and respirators in other settings.

            During an influenza pandemic, the risk for influenza can be reduced through a combination of simple actions. No single action will provide complete protection, but an approach combining the following steps may help decrease the likelihood of infection: handwashing, isolation and treatment with antiviral medications of persons with confirmed or probable influenza, voluntary home quarantine of members of households with confirmed or probable influenza cases, reduction of unnecessary social contacts, and avoidance whenever possible of crowded or congested social settings.

            When it is absolutely necessary to enter a crowded setting or to have close contact3 with persons who might be infectious, the time spent in that setting should be as short as possible. If used correctly, facemasks and respirators may help prevent some exposures, but they should be used along with other preventive measures, such as social distancing and hand hygiene. When crowded settings or close contact with others cannot be avoided, the use of facemasks or respirators should be considered as follows:

               * Whenever possible, rather than relying on the use of masks or respirators, close contact and crowded conditions should be avoided during an influenza pandemic.
               * Facemasks should be considered for use by individuals who enter crowded settings, both to protect their nose and mouth from other people's coughs and to reduce the wearers' likelihood of coughing on others; the time spent in crowded settings should be as short as possible.
               * Respirators should be considered for use by individuals for whom close contact with an infectious person is unavoidable. This can include selected individuals who must care for a sick person (e.g., family member with a respiratory infection) at home.

            These interim recommendations will be revised as new information about the use of facemasks and respirators in the setting of pandemic influenza becomes available. For up-to-date information about pandemic influenza, visit www.pandemicflu.gov.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:43:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm (0+ / 0-)
              •  none of your links say masks do not work (0+ / 0-)

                some of them don't mention them. This is official policy.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 01:03:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ur link 2007. CDC Swine Flu link. April 2009..hmm (0+ / 0-)

                  As you see from CURRENT CDC recommendation, no face masks unless YOU HAVE THE FLU.  As CDC notes

                  Center for Disease Control.
                  APRIL 24 2009

                  Swine Influenza and You.

                  What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

                  There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

                     * Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
                     * Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are
                       also effective.
                     * Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
                     * If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread
                       this way.

                  •  it's the issue of small particle size vs large (0+ / 0-)

                    stops large and doesn't stop small. But no one knows which is more important in flu transmission, so the best advice is wear them. Because it is not known, CDC cannot insist one way or the other. And that's why the advice is interim.

                    That is far more complex and nuanced than 'they don't work'.

                    I really, really, hate you asserting things when you don't understand what you read and quote.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 02:16:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Perhaps why CDC does not recommend facemasks. (0+ / 0-)

                      As we see from TODAY'S CDC list of preventive measures, a face mask is not one of them.

                      People should follow the CDC's UP TO DATE advice.

                      Swine Influenza and You

                      What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

                      There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

                         * Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
                         * Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are
                           also effective.
                         * Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
                         * If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread
                           this way.

                      •  sigh (0+ / 0-)

                        it's not out of date. it's still active until a definitive statement replaces the interim one. At that time, it will not be linkable.

                        What, you think advice is like milk and goes bad?

                        Idiot.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 03:53:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  At least folks know they don't need to wear masks (0+ / 0-)

                          Now if there was a dust storm, then it might make sense.

                          I'm sure folks were curious seeing all those pictures of people in Mexico City buying and wearing those masks...now they know it is not necessary and really doesn't do anything unless they have the flu and then it keeps them from spreading it.

                        •  Very important to keep up with latest medical adv (0+ / 0-)

                          "What, you think advice is like milk and goes bad?"

                          Worse...old medical advice will kill you. Take Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy. One year it is recommended and the next they find it causes breast cancer.

                          With face masks, just a case of looking foolish using 2007 advice.

                          •  wrong again (0+ / 0-)

                            it's current advice. Quit spreading misinformation.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 04:51:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and, again, for the readers (0+ / 0-)

                            the interim 2007 statement is current policy. it will remain current policy until it is superseded.

                            Just because Tuscany doesn't understand that is no reason for anyone else to be misled. It's simply one of many things he doesn't understand, yet writes about as if he does.

                            In this situation, that's most unfortunate.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 05:00:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  okay, wise guy (0+ / 0-)

                            the interim guidelines have been validated and updated as of today.

                            April 26, 2009 01:00 ET

                            This document provides interim guidance and will be updated as needed.

                            Detailed background information and recommendations regarding the use of masks and respirators in non-occupational community settings can be found on PandemicFlu.gov in the document Interim Public Health Guidance for the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in Non-Occupational Community Settings during an Influenza Pandemic.

                            If used correctly, facemasks and respirators can help prevent some exposures, but they should be used along with other preventive measures, such as avoiding close contact and maintaining good hand hygiene.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 08:02:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  and what the readers need to understand (0+ / 0-)

            is that no one at CDC or HHS wants to insist on masks when masks alone may not be enough and when everyone doesn't have access to them.

            Agsan see this discussion for insight.

            http://www.pandemicflu.gov/...

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 12:49:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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