Jump to content

WHO guidance: Healthy people should wear masks only when 'taking care of' coronavirus patients

Posted

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.


https://www.foxnews.com/world/who-guidance-healthy-people-wear-masks-around-coronavirus-patients

So the WHO is not recommending widespread use of masks by people without symptoms, unless they are caring for Covid patients. This differs from CDC advice. Even Fauci concedes that it is largely a symbolic practice, to wear a mask in public.

Quote

The World Health Organization is recommending healthy people, including those who don't exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with the contagion, a sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public.

"If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask," Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO, says in a video on the world health body's website posted in March. "Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough."

21 minutes ago, Emergent said:

[...]

... Even Fauci concedes that it is largely a symbolic practice, to wear a mask in public.

This contradicts what he was recently quoted as saying. From the Politico article Fauci says he wears mask as ‘symbol’ of good behavior:

Quote

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, revealed Wednesday he wears a mask while in public partly as a “symbol” of best practices during the coronavirus pandemic — breaking with President Donald Trump, who has resisted criticism that he should model similar behavior for Americans.

“I wear it for the reason that I believe it is effective,” Fauci told CNN. “It’s not 100 percent effective. I mean, it’s sort of respect for another person, and have that other person respect you. You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.”

But apart from wanting “to protect myself and protect others,” Fauci also said he chooses to wear a face covering “because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”

[...]

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/27/fauci-wears-mask-as-symbol-of-good-behavior-283847

The American experience with this contagion is interesting.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

Fauci is a known liar. Him and the Surgeon General were out there saying "You don't need face masks!" to the public just to prevent an exacerbation of the PPE shortage months earlier.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where -- but it was a professional-level source) ... that the WHO loosened its guidance to avoid panic in countries that did not have a sufficient number of masks available. If people are told that everyone should wear masks and masks are not available, the fear might add to that country's troubles.

That is a similar approach taken in the US back in the beginning. At first, when masks were less available, people were urged to save them for the people who needed them most -- health care workers. But once they became more available, the advice changed to include everyone should wear one because that is even better.

Think of it as a "good - better - best" scenario and not an "all or nothing" scenario. It's "good" if some people wear masks (high risk, symptomatic, etc.). It's better if most people wear masks. But it's best if everyone wears them. And each country/region has to do the best it can with the limited resources they have. So in some places, the advice is to reserve the masks for those who need them most. While in other place, it is acknowledged that it would be better/best if more people wore them.

1 hour ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

Fauci is a known liar. Him and the Surgeon General were out there saying "You don't need face masks!" to the public just to prevent an exacerbation of the PPE shortage months earlier.

The only "known liar"(s) on the pandemic response team are Pence and Trump. Projection is a really solid tool for Trump support.

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

On 6/1/2020 at 12:09 PM, llg said:

Think of it as a "good - better - best" scenario and not an "all or nothing" scenario.

I think of it more as bad versus worse honestly- not having enough masks for healthcare workers versus wearing a single surgical mask all shift and reusing an N95 over multiple shifts is a disaster triage decision made when our choices are already not even rating in at "good."

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

On 6/1/2020 at 9:58 AM, Emergent said:

https://www.foxnews.com/world/who-guidance-healthy-people-wear-masks-around-coronavirus-patients

So the WHO is not recommending widespread use of masks by people without symptoms, unless they are caring for Covid patients. This differs from CDC advice. Even Fauci concedes that it is largely a symbolic practice, to wear a mask in public.

The also recommend against reusing single use masks, while the CDC has recommendations on extended use and limited reuse: https://www.CDC.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html

This systematic review and meta-analysis was just published and found benefit in public mask use along with distancing and eye protection (all looked at as separate measures): https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext and apparently there are a few RCTs in progress internationally.

On 6/1/2020 at 12:09 PM, llg said:

That is a similar approach taken in the US back in the beginning. At first, when masks were less available, people were urged to save them for the people who needed them most -- health care workers.

Well, they were essentially told they (the public) were stupid. That's what came first. I knew instantly that it would prove unfortunate to sarcastically tell the public not to wear masks (link) without a little more detail and explanation.

People were told point blank they were not effective. As HCPs we might have understood the nuances of the words chosen for the message, but there's no way the general public processed the message with those nuances and background knowledge in mind. They either felt they were being lied to (invoking immediate distrust) or believed the message that masks won't help anything and continue to believe that now.

Edited by JKL33