The nation is wanting to know what additional steps they can do to help in the surge in coronavirus infections. I worked in the vaccine industry for ** years and offer the following. I heard John King this morning ask what additional things can be done concerning the big three...wear masks...wash your hands....and avoid crowds.**. Wear masks. Every hospital surgery, vaccine production unit, and microcircuit industry wear masks and PPE when they are working in environments where they want to prevent microorganism transfer between the operator and the immediate work area around them. It works, it's proven, and hundreds of industries currently use them in their operations. NO ONE SHOULD ARGUE THE PURPOSE AND USE OF MASKS. ASK A SURGEON OR PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING PERSON.**. Proper way to handle masks. Always handle the mask by the straps, do not touch the surface of the mask, as if you have been in an infected area the virus will collect in droplets on the outside of the mask. ALWAYS keep the mask oriented, there is an outside (exposed to the environment) and an inside (next to your skin)* keep track of which side is which. If you walk into an infected area, then remove your mask and then reverse it your are placing the environmental (potentially contaminated side) next to your nose. ALWAYS keep the mask pulled over the mouth and nose as both can emit virus particles, a mask over the mouth is much like putting a diaper around a baby's knees, it's on but does not work very well for collecting the organic matter. **. To disinfect your mask. For cloth masks they can be washed (but use detergent as it will disrupt and inactivate the virus). For synthetic masks (such as N**), they an be disinfected with heat (** minutes at ***F), or by placing in a collinder over stem (boiling pan of water) for ** minutes. Cloth masks have an indefinite life expectancy, but after ** washings they probably start loosing their filtration capacity. For N** eqivalent after each day of use ** hours of exposure or wear they need to be disinfected. After ** -** rounds of heat or stem disinfectant they should be discarded.**. Washing hands and hand sanitizer. When washing hands or using hand sanitizer the hands should be rubbed for ** seconds making sure to get areas between fingers and knuckles. **. Virus exists on water and particle droplets and can be viable for several hours depending on the environment. Thus, your clothing can collect virus if you are walking through a contaminated area, such as a crowd or where a crowd has been recently (the smaller particles can stay airborne long enough for crowd to dissappate but the virus is still clinging in the air. Thus, if you anticipate you have been exposed, when you return home, remove your clothing and wash in detergent and wash your exposed skin areas (ESPECIALLY BEFORE TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, OR MOUTH).**. Avoid large crowds as it is most likely place for virus "plumbs" to be present. If you want or must do a family gathering, then quaratine the members and test for the virus within * days of the gathering to increase the chance that all members of the cohort group are negative for the virus. Data show the virus is most likely to show up within *-* days of exposure.**Remember the virus can live on various surfaces for extended periods of time....if you have a surface that has potentially been exposed, wash and clean that area before its next use....We scrub down or allow delivered goods to be decontaminated before bringing into the house....thus, no exposed surfaces enter the living area without a decontamination of some sort. **Hope this helps, Dr. Tim Miller
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