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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

In the middle of Corona War: The mask is not for the oven

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Every day is the beginning of scientific studies that provide us with scientific knowledge about the new corona. China, for example, launched a wide-ranging investigation yesterday to determine how many COVID-19 asymptomatic carriers were ultimately present and what the levels of immunity were in different communities. The study will involve volunteers from Wuhan and Hubei Province, the epicenter of the disease, but also Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and others.

At the same time, French researchers have found that the new corona survives high temperatures. The scientific team from the University of Marseille warmed the microorganism to 60 degrees Celsius and found that some strains continued to multiply. Only near the boiling point was the corona completely destroyed, although the heating process made it less contagious. However, at lower temperatures, surviving strains were sufficient to cause new infections.

The image of health care workers and many other disinfecting streets, squares, benches, public transport and so on. it is now extremely common all over the world. These behaviours reduce stress, experts point out, because we feel we are controlling developments and acting against health scourge. However, the cold scientific truth, as stated by Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the University of Minnesota, is that there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of the sprays. “At best it’s a huge expense, at worst we’re disinfecting the environment unnecessarily,” he says, stressing that the virus is transmitted more by direct contact, so social distancing measures are needed. How long will it take? Unknown. But according to research from Harvard University’s Department of Immunology and Epidemiology, published in the journal Science, as there is a risk of a second wave of infections, it may be necessary to re-impose restrictive measures, extended or intermittent, until 2022.

A problem that affects thousands of people is the global shortage of protective masks. So many have turned to sterilization and reuse. But as Stanford University scientists point out, this should not be done in a home oven, as high temperatures will melt the plastic fibers, making them completely useless. Experts warn that the information that the ideal disinfection of the masks is in the microwave oven is false and poses a fire threat to various naive households.

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