Understanding Silent Transmission and Why You Always Need a Mask
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding silent transmission and face masks.
In this article, we are going to clear it out. You’re going to learn what is a silent transmission, how it works and why you need to wear a face mask at all times.
Let’s get into it.
What is Silent Transmission?
Silent transmission is when someone who has contacted the virus, has no symptoms but still passes the virus to someone else. There is sufficient evidence that people can transmit the virus before the symptoms even begin. That’s called presymptomatic transmission.
It’s not clear how much of a role they can play during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot of questions still remain. Tons of people who have contacted the virus show no symptoms, but in most cases, there’s a lag between infection and the symptoms. That’s called an incubation period.
The time between transmission and symptoms can vary from 2-14 days. Understanding how easily the virus can be transmitted is important, so we can learn how the pandemic is going to play out. But for now, scientists still need more time to learn more about the transmission of COVID-19.
Why Do You Need a Mask?
Face masks are everywhere nowadays. Some people choose to wear face coverings or create their own. The more time passes, the more creative face masks appear. Big brands have started manufacturing their own masks, so they offer them to the people in need.
There’s still a huge debate whether the general public has to wear face masks at all. It has become a political issue. At the beginning of the pandemic, many governments said that the general public shouldn’t wear face masks, because the frontline healthcare workers won’t have enough supplies. However, since most places have now stocked up on medical equipment, the US has reversed that advice.
As a result, many people lost trust in our institutions. To understand if face masks are useful against COVID-19, we have to discuss how it spreads.
When an infected person coughs, they send aerosols into the air, and a single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. Once out of the mouth, most of the droplets will settle onto surfaces while smaller ones will remain in the air for hours.
Scientists still aren’t exactly sure how the droplets spread outside or in rooms with air conditioning. For now, they think that COVID-19 can survive in these droplets for at least three hours.
That’s why wearing a face mask in public can reduce transmissions, especially in crowded areas like public transportation. The most protective face masks are the N95 because they offer at least 95% filtration of airborne particles. Surgical masks can also offer you enough protection by reducing the amount of virus that escapes while breathing or coughing.
One of the main reasons why wearing a face mask in public is important is that it can prevent the spread of the virus to others. Because most people don’t show any symptoms 2-14 days after they have been infected, they can be spreading COVID-19 without knowing about it.
Even wearing a homemade mask can seriously reduce the number of droplets each of us inhales while we speak.
There’s a concern that the general public will buy all the masks, leaving essential workers without any protection. Also, there’s fear that these masks can create a false sense of security in people who wear them. People that have face masks seem to spend more time in public, increasing their chance of getting infected.
Another issue is that most face masks are disposable, which means that you have to throw them out each time you use them. That creates a problem because not everybody has access to new face masks 24/7. Luckily, most places have stocked up, and businesses offer free masks to their employees.
Another issue is teaching the public how to wear their face mask. It should cover your nose and mouth to offer you full protection. There are tons of simpler alternatives which you can find online that are easy to wear. Making your own mask at home is also a great solution if you have the right fabric at your disposal. You should just keep them disinfected to maximize their potential.
Wearing a face mask in public can be quite helpful, especially now when the lockdown has started to ease out. They can help prevent the spread of the virus when you’re near people that cough or sneeze.
To summarize, the silent transmission is when a person who is infected but has no symptoms passes the virus to another person. The symptoms start appearing 2-14 days after a person is infected, so they can easily spread it without even knowing.
Face mask, on the other hand, can prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially with lockdowns easing out. You should cover your mouth and nose with whatever you can whether it’s a face covering, N95 masks or a surgical mask.
You can find high-quality 3M face masks here.
If you want to order more than 2,000 face masks for a hospital or a pharmacy, you can reach out to us here, and we will help you out.