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口罩能預防冠狀病毒嗎?

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2020年02月22日

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Do Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus?

口罩能預防冠狀病毒嗎?

As the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, now officially called SARS-CoV-2, continues to top headlines, the demand for face masks has sky-rocketed, causing some US and online retailers to run out of stock. Cases are continuing to pop up across the globe and as fears mount, more and more people are turning to masks in an effort to keep themselves safe, but can any of these masks prevent coronavirus?

隨著新型冠狀病毒2019-nCoV(現在正式名稱為SARS-CoV-2)繼續占據頭條,口罩的需求飆升,導致一些美國和在線零售商的口罩脫銷。全球各地的病例仍在不斷增加,隨著恐懼的加劇,越來越多的人開始使用口罩來保護自己的安全,但這些口罩能預防冠狀病毒嗎?

The coronavirus family are a group of airborne viruses that are transmitted in a similar way to the flu. You can inhale virus particles after someone who has contracted coronavirus coughs or sneezes, or a sick person may leave traces of the virus on surfaces, which for SARS-CoV-2 we know can survive for up to nine days – a long time compared to most strains of flu that survive for around 24 hours.

冠狀病毒是一組通過空氣傳播的病毒,其傳播方式與流感相似。你可以在感染冠狀病毒的人咳嗽或打噴嚏后吸入病毒顆粒,或者病人可能在表面留下病毒的痕跡,對于SARS-CoV-2,我們知道這種病毒可以存活下來 長達9天-與大多數流感菌株相比,長時間存活約24小時。

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Rachael Funnell

The type of mask seen in the above photo is a standard-issue surgical face mask used by medical practitioners during surgery to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses while patients are on the operating table. These are effective at blocking large particles and droplets from transferring through the mask but can’t prevent small virus particles from getting around the edges or landing on the mask. Particles sitting on the mask pose a problem when users take it off, as once the SARS-CoV-2 particles are on your hands, you’re at risk if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, or leave traces of the virus on objects and surfaces.

上圖所示的口罩是一種外科醫生在手術中使用的標準口罩,以防止病人在手術臺上時細菌和病毒的傳播。它們可以有效地阻止大顆粒和液滴通過口罩傳播,但不能阻止小病毒顆粒繞過口罩邊緣或落在口罩上。當使用者摘下口罩時,口罩上的病毒顆粒會造成問題,因為一旦接觸到SARS-CoV-2病毒顆粒,如果接觸到眼睛、鼻子或嘴巴,或在物體和表面留下病毒痕跡,就會有風險。

Another kind of mask is the N95 respirator, which is a fitted apparatus designed to block particles by filtering the air as it passes through the mask. When fitted properly, the N95 classification means that the respirator is capable of filtering out at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) particles. These respirators, however, aren’t effective for children or people with facial hair, and even those properly fitted can’t eliminate the risk of infection entirely. These masks can also get uncomfortably warm and the filtering processes can be so efficient it makes it difficult to breathe.

另一種口罩是N95呼吸器,這是一種專門設計的裝置,當空氣通過口罩時,它可以過濾空氣中的微粒。如果正確安裝,N95的分類意味著呼吸器能夠過濾掉至少95%的非常小的(0.3微米)顆粒。然而,這些呼吸器對兒童和面部有毛發的人無效,即使是那些合適的呼吸器也不能完全消除感染的風險。這些口罩還會讓人感到不舒服的溫暖,過濾過程可能非常有效,讓人難以呼吸。

While neither option appears to be completely foolproof, residents in China are being instructed to wear masks as there’s such a high incidence of the virus in some areas. Even surgical masks can go some way in preventing individuals who do not yet know that they’re sick from spreading virus particles while in public spaces. There have even been reports via Twitter that in some parts of China, people are making bespoke masks to keep their cats safe.

雖然這兩種選擇似乎都不是萬無一失的,但中國的居民被要求戴口罩,因為在一些地區這種病毒的發病率很高。即使是醫用口罩也可以在一定程度上防止那些還不知道自己生病的人在公共場所傳播病毒粒子。甚至有推特上的報道稱,在中國的一些地方,人們正在定制口罩來保護他們的貓。

In areas such as America, where there are still so few reported cases, face masks will achieve little. The best advice is to keep on top of hygiene practices such as regularly washing hands, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and sneezing or coughing into a tissue before disposing of it. If you find yourself without a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow to prevent getting the virus on your hands.

在美國這樣的地區,報告的病例仍然很少,口罩的作用也不大。最好的建議是保持良好的衛生習慣,比如經常洗手,避免接觸眼睛、鼻子或嘴巴,在清理紙巾之前不要對著紙巾打噴嚏或咳嗽。如果你發現自己沒有紙巾,咳嗽或打噴嚏到你的肘部,以防止感染病毒。

If you’re still keen to Bane your way through the ongoing crisis, there’s a company putting the “face” in face masks as they launch Face ID compatible respirator masks for those who simply don’t have time to key in their password. You can even opt to have the lower segment of your face captured in a smile for those days when you just can’t but unfortunately you have to.

如果你還想在這場持續的危機中掙扎,有一家公司推出了一款“face”口罩,專為那些沒有時間輸入密碼的人提供與“face ID”兼容的防毒面具。你甚至可以選擇讓你的下半部分的臉在微笑的時候,你只是不能,但不幸的是,你必須。

And if you want to go one further, in what might be the greatest example of “not all heroes wear capes”, a dedicated daughter in China whose father was unwell donned an inflatable giraffe costume in lieu of a face mask as she headed to the dispensary to collect his medications.

進一步,如果你想去,也許是最偉大的例子,“不是所有英雄穿斗篷”,一個專門在中國的女兒的父親是不適戴上面罩的充氣長頸鹿服裝代替她去藥房收集他的藥物。

There’s hope that this devastating virus will come to an end as a London-based team reported last week that they were testing a vaccine on mice. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Rocky Mountain Laboratories has released images so you can see what SARS-CoV-2 actually looks like.

上周,一個總部位于倫敦的研究小組報告說,他們正在老鼠身上試驗一種疫苗,人們希望這種毀滅性的病毒能夠結束。與此同時,美國國家過敏和傳染病研究所的落基山實驗室發布了一些圖片,讓你可以看到SARS-CoV-2實際上是什么樣子。


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