Where Are The Masks? - North Shore Dental
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Where Are The Masks?

Where Are The Masks?

Two weeks ago I became aware of the coronavirus dilemma and thought of masks.  I immediately ran to the supply closet and saw only one box on the shelf. I asked employees if there was more.  We located a case of masks. I was very relieved. Maybe this would take us through the problem. today I counted 8 boxes on the supply closet shelf and 9 others in treatment rooms.  Amazon is price gouging for $50/box and my dental supply company has gone up from $5.00 to $16.00 a box.  What should I do? Is this going to be one of those overblown epidemics or a true pandemic?

Well, let’s think about this.  We are use to universal infection control practices.  The mask is to make sure the patient does not get our germs and we them.  Masks are no longer good after they get moist either from one’s own breath or from splatter.  How should I counsel my employees?  

First let’s talk about the regular flu that kills more people in our country than the number of deaths so far in China. According to WebMD, The CDC estimates that as many as 6,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year.  I have employees that do not get the flu vaccination. I encourage everyone to get a flu shot, but this is still a free country and it is ultimately their decision.

So let’s talk about coronavirus and its comparison to the flu. Click on the link below to see confirmed cases and deaths by country, territory or Conveyance.

 Current Coronavirus Cases:

According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

84,144

view by country

Deaths:

2,876

Recovered:

36,873

The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 59 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan). 

TRANSMISSION RATE (Ro)
(estimated range)

2 – 3

(2 – 3 newly infected from 1 case)

FATALITY RATE (CFR)
(WHO early estimate)

2% (?)

(more details)

INCUBATION PERIOD
(estimated)

2 – 14 days

(outliers: 0 – 27 days)

COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
(affected by COVID-19)

59

(full list)

So, I have to conclude that I should point this out to my employees about being vaccinated for the regular flu. The flu is much more of a problem than coronavirus seems to be.  Also wear your mask until it gets wet, wash hands after each patient, and sneeze into mask or smock. We can do so many common sense actions and get through this. I believe that our country, unlike others, is over prepared and ready.

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