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Thai researchers warn, don’t take off your mask in public toilets

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From The Thaiger

A team of Thai researchers found in a study that without face masks, there was a 10% risk of being infected with Covid-19 in public toilets. Random?

The team, lead by a researcher from Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok, found that the risk climbed to almost 100% if the Covid-19 infected person actually coughed or sneezed in the toilet. The study claimed, however, that if both wore N95 or surgical face masks, the risk was just 0.01%.

Now, the researchers are warning the public not to take off face masks while in public toilets. Thammanitchpol Denpetkul, a lecturer at the faculty of tropical medicine at Mahidol University, told the Bangkok Post that some masks are much more effective than others.

“Some cloth masks may not be good enough to protect against the virus … but if someone uses an N95 mask and wears it properly, the risk is one in 100,000.”

The study was published in the Journal of Water and Health.

The trend for Thailand’s daily new Covid infections is definitely heading down, for now. Despite the warnings of increased cases from some medical authorities in Thailand (up to 100,000 infections per day in one estimate), the trend over the past week has been down.

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On 4/17/2022 at 12:04 PM, reader said:

From The Thaiger

A team of Thai researchers found in a study that without face masks, there was a 10% risk of being infected with Covid-19 in public toilets.

I wonder what assumptions they made to get this ?     According to Worldmeters, there are 205,000 covid cases in Thailand.     

Which is 0.3% of the population.      So VERY approximately, we would need about 30 other people in the toilets to even have a 10% chance of someone else there who has covid in the first place, never mind to transmit it.

However, most of the people who know they have covid ought to be at home isolating.

Then the covid stats are unreliable, as Thailand has clear incentives for people to dodge testing.

 

What is already known is that wearing a good quality N95/FFP2 or preferably N99/FFP3 dramatically reduced the risks to the wearer and to others.  There was a trial done in a UK hospital that demonstrated the effectiveness of FFP3 masks.     

So if and when I actually want to avoid exposure to the virus, such as when going to Thailand, I wear an FFP3 mask.

Currently, whilst in the UK, I deliberately do not wear a mask, as I've had a vaccine recently and it's preferable to get exposure to Omicron soon after a vaccine, rather than 6 months later.

 

 

 

 

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