Thursday, April 9, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Masks and gloves are important tools in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
People can be seen wearing them around grocery stores, hospitals and other essential locations.
Yet, are they using them right?
Medical professionals around the world stay busy with patients infected with COVID-19.
One of those doctors is Christopher Voscopoulos, the ICU director at Southern Hills Hospital.
"The virus is currently transmitted primarily via respiratory droplets," he said.
He broke down what that means.
"An individual that is positive with COVID-19 might sneeze or cough," said Dr. Voscopoulos. "And what they do is they inject out into the air viral particles."
You can catch the virus if those particles, that can linger in the air up to three hours, enter your nose or mouth.
Dr. Daliah Wachs, a board-certified family physician demonstrated for News 3 on Tuesday, just how much contact we make with our face without even realizing it.
"Touch the computer again fix our hair," she said. "Sometimes we'll maybe like fix our teeth. We might eat something, drink something. Glasses- put our glasses on."
There is something doctors want to make clear.
"The virus is not getting into the human body by just skin contact," said Dr. Voscopoulos.
For example, if the milk you just bought at the store is contaminated, you can't get COVID-19 by just touching it. You can, however, get infected if you touch your face before washing your hands for 20 seconds.
Gloves can also be key in stopping the spread if you use them the right way.
"When they remove the glove, is to take this portion here and then peel it off turning it inside out," Dr. Voscopoulos said while demonstrating. "The concept is the viral particles are on the outside part of the glove."
Masks can also provide a barrier in two ways, from the virus transmitting from a person with coronavirus, or for a person trying not to breathe in the virus.
"Using the elastic I am going to remove it on one side and then come over to the other like this," said Dr. Voscopoulos, while showing how to properly remove a mask without touching the front or side covering your mouth.
"When you take it off, take it off like this," said Dr. Wachs, showing how you tie a bandana from the back to use as a mask. And then untying if from the back without touching your face. "If you take it off like this you again, just basically touched your face."
Those masks can be reused if taken off properly, and some may even be washed depending on the material.
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