Sun May 31, 2020 10:46
Study: Wearing A Mask at Home Could Help Stop Coronavirus Spread Among Family Members
TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the few reliefs in our current pandemic is removing that mask when you arrive back home after a trip to the store. If you've got family there, however, a new study suggests you may want to keep it on.

The study, which was published in BMJ Global Health on Thursday, showed that wearing a mask at home was 79% effective at preventing the spread of the virus -- but only when family members started wearing masks before symptoms emerged in the first person infected. Cleaning the house frequently with bleach or disinfectants was almost equally effective at 77%.

"This study confirms the highest risk of household transmission being prior to symptom onset, but that precautionary [non-pharmaceutical interventions], such as mask use, disinfection and social distancing in households can prevent Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic," the study says.

In February, Chinese officials said most of the cluster cases they studied weren't coming from supermarkets or schools, but rather within families. Of the more than 1,000 cluster cases studied, 83% were identified as family clusters, according to Wu Zunyou, a virus expert with China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While it was known that social distancing and mask wearing could prevent transmission of the disease in the community, there was little evidence to prove whether it was effective within families.

For the new study, researchers called 460 people from 124 families in Beijing who were living with an infected person and questioned them on their household hygiene and other behaviors during the pandemic.

Researchers found 41 out of the 124 families saw the virus being transmitted from the first infected person to other family members, totaling to 77 adults and children being infected. But the families who cleaned their homes with disinfectants daily, opened their windows and kept at least 1 meter (3 feet) apart were at lower risk of passing the virus, even in more crowded households.

Families who engaged in close daily contact, such as eating meals around a table or watching TV together were associated with an 18-fold increased risk. Daily close contact with a family member who was showing symptoms increased the risk for others, even if they started wearing masks at that point, according to the study.

The study is not without its critics

Some members of the scientific community who didn't participate in the study are recognizing its significance.

"This is an important paper because it comes at a time when -- as lockdown is eased -- the risk of a person entering the home who has become infected (e.g. whilst on public transport or in the workplace) but is unaware that this is so, is increasing," Professor Sally Bloomfield of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said in a statement.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh of University of Oxford mirrored her response, saying that the practice of wearing masks at home is "perhaps the most interesting as it's something that few people currently do in their own homes, especially when not symptomatic."

"Worryingly, whereas people who wore a mask before they became symptomatic with Covid-19 were significantly less likely to pass it on to others in the household, those who only started wearing the mask after they became symptomatic weren't able to protect their family members," Greenhalgh added.

But others have pointed to the study's limitations, including ones that the authors also recognized.

"Telephone interview has inherent limitations including recall bias," the study says. "The evaluation results of mask wearing were reliable, but we did not collect data on the concentration of disinfectant used by families."

Dr. Antonio Lazzarino at the University College London said that the study itself is not enough to make any official recommendations of any kind."This study is not robust science, as it has several limitations in the conception and in the statistical analysis," he said in a statement. "The main limitation is that it was designed at the family level, rather than at the individual level."

Lazzarino also pointed out that the study didn't make a distinction between whether the families were wearing N95 masks, surgical masks or basic cloth masks.





Bottom top
Iran to Fight Coronavirus More Seriously via Increase of Medical, Health Items Production

TEHRAN (FNA)- An official with the Industry Ministry said that Iran has succeeded in multiplying production of various items and equipment to help the nationwide battle against COVID-19.
Labour: Unemployment in UK Could Go 'Way Beyond Anything We've Experienced'

TEHRAN (FNA)- Unemployment could soar to levels “way beyond anything we’ve experienced before” unless the government extends the furlough scheme and gets to grips with the looming crisis, Labour announced.
White House Reportedly Plans to Interview Pentagon Officials for 'Political Litmus Test'

TEHRAN (FNA)- The American magazine Foreign Policy quoted unnamed sources as saying that as of next week, White House staffers will start interviewing political appointees at the US Department of Defense.
Washington State Claims US Gov't Providing Unsterile COVID-19 Screening Supplies Amid Surge in Testing Demand

TEHRAN (FNA)- Medical supplies sent by the federal government to help with coronavirus testing have been too slow to arrive and have failed quality control checks, according to Washington state’s top health official.
Official: 20% of Iranians Infected with Coronavirus

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian medical official said that nearly 18mln people in Iran have so far been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Top Security Official: US Assassination of General Soleimani Huge Gift to Terrorists

TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that Washington's assassination of former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was the biggest gift to the terrorists in the region.
Iran No More Needs Foreign Aid to Repair Offshore Drilling Rigs

TEHRAN (FNA)- An official of Mostazafan Foundation announced that Iran has become self-sufficient in repairing offshore drilling rigs.
Iran Identifies 2,449 New Coronavirus Cases

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Saturday that 2,449 new cases of infection to COVID-19 virus have been diagnosed in the country in the past 24 hours, adding that 1,148 patients have been hospitalized.
Tehran, Moscow Confer on Energy Cooperation, Upcoming Joint Commission

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian envoy to Moscow Kazzem Jalali met with Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov and held talks on the upcoming mutual energy cooperation within the framework of the joint economic commission.
Over 1 Ton of Narcotics, Four Smugglers Captured in Southern Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Anti-narcotics police seized 1,087 kilograms of illicit drugs and disbanded four trafficking gangs in South of Iran, a judiciary official of Hormozgan province announced on Saturday.
More Coronavirus Restrictions in Place in Iran as of July 5

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that wearing mask will be compulsory in crowded and public places as of Sunday (July 5).
Iran’s FM Wishing Instant Recovery for Pakistani Counterpart

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed hope that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi who has tested positive for coronavirus will recover immediately.
UK Chancellor Urges Public to Head Back to Pubs, Restaurants to Help Save Economy

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chancellor Rishi Sunak urged Britain to “eat out to help out” in a bid to boost the economy as it emerges from a lockdown slump.
US Troops Ordered to Suspend Activities in Colombia After Presence Deemed Unlawful

TEHRAN (FNA)- US troops have been ordered to suspend activities in Colombia for 48 hours after a court ruled that their presence in the South American country was unlawful.
COVID-19 in Spain: Local Lockdown in Catalonia Due to Virus Outbreak

TEHRAN (FNA)- The government of Catalonia announced on Saturday that the county of Segria will be placed under lockdown to try to contain the spread of COVID-19.