Geneva - Because of the coronavirus epidemic in China, there is now "chronic shortage of personal protective equipment". Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Secretary General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said this to the WHO Executive Council in Geneva today.
He announced that he would work with the supply chain network to remedy “bottlenecks” in production . The day before yesterday, the WHO announced that it would send respiratory masks, rubber gloves, protective suits and test sets to countries in need. To do this, she asked the international community to pay $ 675 million (613 million euros).
The Chinese authorities have been trying drastic measures for weeks to get the spread of the novel 2019-nCoV virus under control. In addition to large-scale quarantine measures, protective masks are mandatory in cities and provinces with millions of inhabitants. In many places, masks were therefore already in short supply.
Breathing masks unnecessary for healthy people
In order to protect themselves against infection with the coronavirus, according to the current state of knowledge, healthy people in Germany do not need breathing masks, shares the ( ABDA) today.
The surgical mouth and nose protection that many people know from the pictures from China does not reliably protect healthy wearers from infection. It is designed to protect the environment from an infected carrier.
Such protection can be useful if someone with respiratory disease is sitting in waiting room, for example. In order for it to be effective, the mouth and nose protection must be worn close-fitting and changed if it becomes wet. In addition, it should not be touched with your hands.
Respiratory masks, on the other hand, are intended to protect doctors from infections when dealing with sick patients. They are also called FFP (filtering face piece) masks and can make breathing difficult. Together with protective goggles and gloves, they are part of professional protective clothing.
Since there is no specific therapy against it, prevention of infection is particularly important in order to contain the wave of disease.
On surfaces up to Infectious for nine days
In review that was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, German researchers have therefore summarized the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces (2020; doi:). They also report on the possibilities of chemical disinfection.
The analysis of 22 studies shows that human coronaviruses such as SARS coronavirus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS coronavirus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or endemic human coronavirus (HCoV) on inanimate surfaces such as Metal, glass or plastic can remain infectious for up to nine days at room temperature.
On average, they survive between four and five days. "Cold and high air humidity increase their lifespan even more," said first author Günter Kampf from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the University Medical Center Greifswald from one million to 100 disease-causing particles): 62 to 71 percent ethanol, 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite are effective here. Other disinfectant solutions such as 0.05 to 0.2 percent benzalkonium chloride or 0.02 percent chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.
If preparations based on other active ingredients are used, the product should be at least proven to be effective against enveloped viruses ( "Limited virucidal"). “As rule, that's enough to significantly reduce the risk of infection,” says Kampf.
The study authors assume that the results from the studies on other coronaviruses can be transferred to the new virus. "Different coronaviruses were examined and the results were all similar," says Eike Steinmann, Chair of Molecular and Medical Virology at the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB).
Experts question temperature checks of travelers to China at airports
In order to contain the spread of the virus, the body temperature of the passengers is also checked at some airports. Just yesterday Rudolf Anschober said that the measure in Vienna should affect three Air China flights week from Beijing.
Ralf Reintjes from der does not expect this to have any effect: “The probability that the measure will have an effect in Austria , goes to zero. It's more about activism. "
Reintjes justifies his assessment with the sobering result that the body temperature measurement already had with SARS.
" The measure prevented hardly any cases, if at all. Even though SARS-infected patient is only infectious if he is symptomatic. With the new coronavirus you can be infectious, even if you have very mild symptoms, "says the professor of epidemiology and health reporting.
Hendrik Streeck, head of the, also agrees with the classification: " During such cold season, you are more likely to find people with other infections who have symptoms similar to those developed when infected with the novel coronavirus. Almost everyone who gets off an overnight flight has sore throat and runny nose. ”
Reports from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest that not everyone develops fever with the new coronavirus is infected. “The most common symptom is dry, irritating cough. Only fraction of the patients develop severe deep airway pneumonia. "