Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Masks over the healthy do NOTHING. Viruses are small enough to pass through the pores. Since you need to touch the virus on a surface, or breath it in, just wash your hands.

I first read this last night and thought, "Wow, that's a rather provocative statement," so I slept on it.

It would be nice if I had been there to hear the entire context of the statement but that's not important. I do agree that hand washing is far more important to protect most of us from any flu bug than having a mask.

For average folks, better to stock up, carry, and frequently use hand sanitizer than stocking up on N95 masks if you're worried about the flu (among the other suggested steps, like cough etiquette).

You're right, it IS provocative. I'm actually suprised no one else called me on it. I think I'm just irked that this disease is getting so much attention - it's a "WOW!" factor in the media, with totally biased info. It's the flu. It's not like Ebola suddenly became airborne and we're getting 90% death rates.

Since you wanted the entire context, I pulled the quotation out of the email sent to our campus. If I get contacted to remove it, I will, but I'll also leave it anonymous for now. The info he is referencing is the bit about hand washing, staying home, stop picking your nose and rubbing your eyes, etc.

"One other piece of advice from an old pulmonologist, who dealt with these sorts of things on more than a few occasions, all of the above are the best that can be done. Wearing masks if you think YOU HAVE the Swine Flu helps you from spreading it to others. Wearing a mask to protect yourself does NOT help you from catching the flu from others, however. [ It has to do with the difference in size of the virus enveloped in moisture coming out of the diseased person and the virus particle floating freely in the environment dehydrating and becoming small enough to pass through all but HEPA filters. It gets pretty technical but it is pretty interesting (as I define interesting).] Bottom line if you are feeling well don't waste money on buying masks."

Here's some fun reading I saw just after hitting "Post"

The headline on CNN. com for the above article: "Emergency rooms hit with flu 'hysteria'"

Edited by MDinana (05/02/09 05:55 PM)