Experts tell you how to take care of yourself so as not to contract omicron

The SARS-CoV-2 virus (from the original Wuhan to the Ómicron variant) “takes evenly”, although the most affected populations are between approximately 20 and 50 years old, because they are the ones that currently have the most mobility, points out Dr. Samuel Ponce de León, head of the University Commission for the Attention of the Coronavirus Emergency.

Due to the fact that the virus is fundamentally transmitted “in air droplets” that we expel when speaking, sneezing, coughing and that remain floating in the form of an aerosol in closed environments, once again the fundamental barrier to not becoming infected is to use the face mask correctly.

Whenever we are in closed or semi-closed environments (classroom, offices, churches…) and even in congregations of people outdoors, we must wear a mask and keep a healthy distance.

It is necessary, says the Coordinator of the University Health Research Program (PUIS), to have proper ventilation in the areas where we are working or giving classes or carrying out our activities.

It is also critical that people who develop symptoms of illness or who suspect they have COVID-19 should voluntarily self-isolate.

Until I have “full knowledge of what situation I am experiencing, I will be able to make a decision. If I suspend isolation or quarantine. Or if I’m going to do a study or if I’m going to see my doctor.

At public transport, “where coexistence is very intimate”, to minimize the risk of infection, vehicle windows must be kept open and proper hygiene, especially hands. In addition to wearing the mask correctly adjusted and if possible using two, “perfectly sealed”. Do not take them off or take them by hand.

All face masks are useful. From those that can be easily made at home and to different types of face masks that can be purchased at pharmacies.

It is ideal, says Ponce de León, that the face mask has three layers of a cotton fabric or the material with which surgical masks are made, the blue ones, which have folds that fit very well.

There are also face masks with a greater filtration capacity. Are the N95: they have a very high efficiency for the particulate filter and fit more and better.

There are others that are adjusted from behind, towards the occipital part, with two very strong garters. They really close completely and make the mask airtight.

You should always wear the mask up to the bridge of the nose and below the chin, recommends Dr. Ponce de León.

Any mask is useful. It’s better than nothing. But, the PUIS Coordinator insists, the best ones are those with three layers, with a perfect fit and hermetic seal.

In the case of a relative with suspected infection, with symptoms or already infected with COVID-19, in addition to self-isolation, eating utensils should be washed “with soap and water and done”. No “any other care” is necessary.

The transmission of the virus, insists Ponce de León, is by air. Not through contact with these types of utensils (if they are washed) or through the consumption of food.

One can become infected if after touching a surface (hand, glass, bottle…) where respiratory secretions have been deposited by coughing or sneezing on them, one grabs the nose, eyes or mouth.

Currently, says Ponce de León, most infections are due to Omicron and all variants of SARS-CoV-2 must be feared and take precautions to avoid infection.

No one can guarantee that the evolution of an Omicron infection will be mild. Last week a 30-year-old man with his vaccines suffered from severe respiratory failure due to the Omicron variant. We cannot, because it is said that the virus has a lower virulence, “be negligent or self-indulgent with the precautions that we have been taking until now.”

UNAM

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