Mask up right

An N95 mask is 99 per cent effective against Covid-19, but it is slightly pricier than the others.
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | AP)
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | AP)

HYDERABAD: With the rising Covid-19 cases, masking up, apart from getting fully vaccinated, seems like the only way to break the chain. Dr Jagadeesh Kumar, senior physician at KIMS Hospital, explains the kinds of masks available and which one is the most reliable.

How each of these work

N95: This is superior to the 3-layer surgical mask. Its cost-effectiveness can protect you for almost six-nine hours. It is the best mask, more suitable for people who spend long hours working in contagious zones such as a hospital. Most health workers are seen using this mask. An N95 mask is 99 per cent effective against Covid-19, but it is slightly pricier than the others

3-layer surgical mask: This can be used by all when outdoors. The 3-layer mask is 90 per cent effective against the virus

Cloth mask: Honestly, this does not serve the purpose of a mask. This could only be an accessory to cover your mouth and nose. People use these masks because it can be reused. But this does not help much

What to keep in mind while buying a mask

Remember that not every N95 mask being sold in the market is of great quality.

The brand 3M, which costs between Rs 199-Rs 270 per mask, is the best N95 mask one can purchase.

The N95s that are sold for Rs 20-Rs 30 are not original and do not serve the purpose.

While buying a mask one must keep in mind to standardise their preference of masks, which is very important.

Illness pattern of Omicron

Omicron is 95-96 per cent prevalent among people these days. The infection can be divided into three stages:

Day 1-2: The patient may have a headache, severe chills and fever varying from 99-103 degrees, insomnia, body pains.

Day 4-6: The patient could develop a cough, mild septum/nasal stuffiness, ear pain and sinus

Day 7 onwards: Symptoms usually end for most people but cough, weakness and body pains could persist.

In the case of Omicron, there is a rare involvement of lungs and decreased O2 saturation. But these can’t be ruled out.

Any patient who continues to have a persistent fever after 4 days should see a physician.

Treatment strategy

With the available data, 92.2 per cent of Covid strains are of Omicron and 7 per cent is Delta.

Remdesivir is the best choice for any vulnerable group, given less than five days from the first symptom.

Looking at the statistics, we are 92 per cent less likely to treat Delta. So, the role of cocktail therapy is less.

Always consult an expert before reaching a conclusion to avoid confusion.

(Compiled by Shreya Veronica)

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