Viruses undergo various changes in their structure over time. These changes, also known as mutations, are crucial for viruses’ survival. Although mutations are primarily insignificant, they can alter the virus’s behavior.
However, mutations affect how a microbe, such as bacteria or viruses, interacts with your body. So, it can change the course of an outbreak. Variants can evade your immune system, reduce vaccines’ efficacy, and cause a significant surge in Covid-19 cases.
Health professionals and medical researchers agree that vaccination is directly proportional to reduced mutations and infections. Many people ask: is the delta variant more transmittable? Are masks effective against delta and other variants? In today’s article, we will answer these questions and give you essential details. Read on!
Is the Delta Variant more Transmittable?
The delta is the most deadly variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. It is the most transmittable of all the Covid-19 variants, meaning it can spread from person to person quickly and effectively than other variants.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the data variant is 2-3 times more contagious than other Covid-19 variants. The CDC says that it is 60% more infectious and deadly than the alpha Covid-19 variants.
Because the delta variant has a higher viral load than other Covid-19 viruses, it can increase the risk of infections in your airway. It causes more severe symptoms than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in Wuhan, China, in the last quarter of 2019.
So, this means a person infected with the delta variant can expel more viral spores or droplets into the air. Therefore, people can get infected even after lower exposure to the delta variant.
Are Masks Effective Against the Delta Variant?
Social distancing protocols, i.e., keeping six feet from others, are the best way to protect against Covid-19. However, health authorities recommend wearing a mask to have an additional protection layer. A facemask can protect you and others by containing respiratory droplets when you sneeze, cough, or speak.
According to the CDC, some individuals with Covid-19 lack symptoms, and people who develop symptoms can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others before they become evident. Health authorities believe that masks can decrease the spread of Covid-19 and its variants.
The human droplet size is between 5.0 micrometers and 1,000 micrometers. However, the cloth mask most people wear can filter out droplets of 6.0 micromere diameter. Breathability and comfortability are primary aspects along with filtration when using the mask. Cloth masks have reduced breathability rates than N95 masks.
Remember, the diameter of Covid-19 is between 0.06 and 0.15 micrometers. Although cloth masks have good filtration efficiencies against SARS-CoV-2, they may not protect you against the delta variant.
On the other hand, N95 masks are more effective than cloth masks to prevent the risk of getting infected with the delta variant, meaning it can significantly slow down the transmission rates.
Why do Doctors recommend N95 Masks Against Delta?
Material and fit are the primary factors that determine the efficacy of facemasks. N95 masks are medical-grade respirators that can better protect from infectious particles and spores than cloth and surgical masks.
Because the delta variant is more transmittable than other strains of SARS-CoV-2, medical professionals and researchers believe that highly protective masks like N95 along with other preventive protocols are ideal for people, especially those who are unvaccinated.
Cloth masks made of woven material are not as effective and protective at filtering the delta variant particles as the melt-blown polypropylene-based surgical masks and respirators.
In contrast, N95 masks are highly protective respirators than surgical masks because they fit snugly to your face, allowing you to filter 95% of airborne particles, including the delta variant.
N95 Masks are Suitable for Unvaccinated People
Switching to the N95 mask is an excellent way for more vulnerable and unvaccinated people. Remember, the cloth mask is ineffective against the delta variant even if you are vaccinated.
So, exposure to the delta variant while wearing the cloth mask can increase the risk of getting infected with the most deadly strain of Covid-19, leading to severe consequences. Older adults, immunocompromised people, and individuals with chronic illnesses are more prone to the delta variant, even if they are vaccinated.
Therefore, it is wise to avoid wearing the standard surgical or cloth masks and focus more on advanced protective measures, such as the N95 masks. Some health professionals say that fully vaccinated people may not require a high-performance mask. Still, if they want an additional layer of protection, the best option is none other than wearing the N95.
That’s why low-risk, vaccinated, and immune people decide to wear N95 masks based on situational factors. Remember that you can still catch the Covid-19 virus, particularly the delta variant, if you wear a low-quality cloth mask. As a result, you can increase the transmission rates and cause others to end up in a hospital emergency room.
Wear the N95 Mask Properly
Although wearing the N95 mask can protect you against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, not wearing the mask properly will not do anything useful. Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the edges of the mask.
Cup your hands around the mask to test the efficacy of your marks. If the edges are not down, make sure you press them to get the job done adequately. You have not snuggly fitted the mask if you notice difficulty breathing.
If you wear glasses and notice that the lenses have fogged up, it means you have not worn the mask properly. Remember, you can’t wash N95 masks, unlike cloth masks. Therefore, it is wise to pay attention to your mask’s state and condition and replace it with a new one when needed.
Experts recommend swapping out your N95 mask every three to five days. Besides, look for the signs of wear and tear, dirt, dust, stains, etc., and replace your old mask with a new one to maintain your protection against the delta variant.
The delta variant is the most deadly strain of Covid-19 that can get through the filter of your cloth mask and enter your airways to cause severe infections. The good news is that wearing N95 masks can reduce the risk of getting infected with the delta variant. Therefore, get vaccinated as soon as possible and swap your cloth mask with N95 for additional protection. Until Next Time!