Experts say: Mask could make immune against corona

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Some people still don’t believe that a mouth and nose protector is a sensible way of preventing the spread of the novel corona virus – although US researchers suspect that the mask has a much more far-reaching effect than previously thought: Scientists at the University of California think that this accessory, which is unpopular with many people, could lead to milder progressions or even immunization. The mask exposes the wearer to a lower viral load, which the body can learn to deal with, according to the researchers’ theory.

Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in many places because the wearer releases fewer aerosols in his or her environment – other people should be protected from the virus. But the mask could unintentionally also function as a banal “vaccine”, the US researchers assume.

Body could learn to fend off a few viruses
Precisely because most masks do not provide 100% protection against SARS-CoV-2, it is still possible to come into contact with the virus. However, the dose is lower than when no protection is worn. So if the body learns to fend off the few viruses and forms antibodies, you could build up immunity. A milder course is also conceivable, according to the researchers. This could somewhat defuse the situation while the whole world is waiting for a vaccine against the disease. The theory has been published in the “New England Journal of Medicine”, but has yet to be verified.

Expert advises: “Stay alert nevertheless”.
Saskia Popescu, an expert on infectious diseases who was not involved in the research, nevertheless advised the “New York Times” to be cautious and take other measures: “This means staying vigilant in terms of avoiding crowds, physical distance and hand hygiene – behaviors that overlap in their effects but cannot replace each other,” the scientist said.

— Hector Pascua, Source: New England Journal of Medicine, krone.at. Picture: stockilyapp.com

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