Are water infections really contagious

Coronavirus and flu : What really protects against the transmission of germs

Wouldn't it be bizarre if an entire country were walking around with blue, green, white and even decorated face masks (if these are still available), and all of this would be complete or largely pointless?

In fact, alleged experts have been quoted as such several times in the past few days. However, all of these were people who had never carried out a corresponding study themselves. The Tagesspiegel refers to such scientific studies in an article on the topic that has already been published. These masks can therefore be part of an effective infection protection strategy.

The facts for the effective avoidance of germ transmission, based on scientific studies and conclusions derived from them by logic, are as follows:

Surgical masks (mouth and nose masks) Due to their filter properties in the presence of infected people, they significantly, but not nearly completely, reduce the risk of transmission for the person carrying them, if they are worn correctly - i.e. close-fitting.

Lower the masks through their filter properties massive risk of transmission for others if they are carried by infected people. This is what they were originally designed for. In the hospital, and especially in the operating room, they are intended to protect patients from germs from nursing staff and doctors.

In a situation where Infected people who show no symptoms, are already contagious - which is apparently the case with the Wuhan virus - the following can be assumed: The wearing of the masks by people who have already had, may have had or are currently in contact with infected people protects others from possible transmission. If these people, who show no symptoms and therefore do not know for sure about an infection, do not wear the mask for this purpose but to protect themselves, this does not change the protective effect for others.

The level of protection provided by the masks varies. It depends on many factors. It is most effective for infectious or possibly infectious people who have contact with healthy people to wear them. If it is unclear who is infected and who is not, it makes sense for anyone who might be infected to wear masks as long as they are in close proximity to other people.

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The protection of the masks is diminishing, if they are worn for too long. It can then even turn into a risk of infection. This also applies if they are not disposed of safely, i.e. people could come into contact with contaminated masks.

On the open road or wearing the masks without the immediate presence of other people is pointless with regard to their filter properties, because infectious concentrations of pathogens in the air are impossible to reach here. In train stations and public transport, however, it can be quite useful.

Beyond the filter properties The masks are seen as indirectly very effective protection because they prevent the wearer from touching the nose and mouth with possibly contaminated hands. If you also avoid looking in the eyes, the risk of a smear infection drops to almost zero, according to experts.

Are effective too so-called respirators with the Specification FFP2 or FFP 3. Here it is Respirators with filter and valve.

Coronavirus: direct contact, hand washing

It is most effective if you really are in an epidemic area, close contact with other - and especially of course with known or likely infected - people to avoid. This includes staying away from crowds. If such closeness is unavoidable, the other precautions discussed here, from hygiene to face mask, will help.

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Thorough, regular hand hygiene is considered the most important measure to minimize the risk of infection. Tests show that thorough washing with normal soap and just as thorough drying with a clean (or paper) towel reduces the number of germs more than a thousand times.

towels should not be used together, even at home.

Coronavirus in buses, trains and public spaces

In public transport and buildings, the wearing of gloves, which should be washed and changed as daily as possible, reduces the risk.

Handles used by numerous people For example, doors, windows and kitchen drawers, but also water taps, are potential sources of germs. The risk is reduced if you open and close them with gloves, or if possible with your elbow, shoulder, etc. If contact with the hand is unavoidable, you can wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Shaking hands is a beautiful, personal greeting gesture that is often used, especially in Germany. However, in times when the likelihood of transmitting dangerous germs is increased, this cultural practice should be abandoned.

Anyone who has to cough or sneeze should - as much as possible - distance yourself from other people. Sneezing or coughing into your hands should be avoided, as should the airborne secretions from wetting surfaces that others might touch. Anyone who coughs into the crook of the elbow covered with a textile significantly reduces the amount of germs in their environment.

Paper handkerchiefs should be used in such a way that nasal secretions and the mini-droplets produced when snorting are caught as completely as possible. This works best if you hold the handkerchief tightly around your mouth and nose with your hands and clean your nose in a place where other people are not nearby. Such handkerchiefs should not be used multiple times. They should not be used in the trouser pocket or the like, but should be safely disposed of in a rubbish bin.

Washable handkerchiefs of textile have the advantage that they usually have more surface and can therefore catch more droplets. They have the disadvantage that they are more permeable than multi-layer paper tissues. They, too, should only be used once and then stored in a safe container, under no circumstances in the shared laundry basket with other textiles that are to be washed at low temperatures and belong to other people. They should be washed at a minimum of 60 degrees, but better with a boil wash.

Linen and bedclothesthat is used by sick people or by potentially infectious people should be washed separately. If at all feasible, you should use textiles for sick or possibly infectious people that can withstand at least 60 degrees or better a hot wash - and then wash the textiles accordingly. Disinfecting detergents or detergent additives are also recommended by some experts for the textiles of sick people.

Basically, people should who are or could be infected with a dangerous germ, even without symptoms such as fever, limit contact with other people as much as possible and use the protection options discussed here. This also includes, if at all possible, not using public transport and staying away from work.

Further background information on the coronavirus:

At home, while eating, in practices

During meals together vessels and cutlery should not be used together (this is particularly important with children). Since it can hardly be avoided to use the soup ladle together, hands should also be washed after eating.

Spaces should be ventilated regularly.

Disinfectants are mostly unnecessary. In some contexts, however, they make sense, for example when contaminated surfaces that are not easily washable have to be cleaned or washbasins and soap are not available for cell phone hygiene.

Doctors' offices and other medical facilities should accommodate infectious or possibly infectious patients in separate waiting areas and provide them with face masks, advise on hand hygiene and provide disinfectants and ask for their use.

Whether an infection is harmless or severe, mostly also depends on lifestyle factors. There are still no clear data on the Wuhan virus. To flu viruses - which are currently much more relevant in this country - they already exist: Sufficient sleep, a balanced diet, plenty of fluid intake, stress reduction, as well as regular physical activity can contribute to the fact that infections are milder or that the immune system even copes with them without symptoms. Sauna and so-called “hardening” can also make a contribution here. Anyone who is ill should switch to light food and avoid alcohol.

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