Workers

Medical Workers Should Use Respirator Masks, Not Surgical Masks

A new analysis of 172 studies, funded by the World Health Organization, confirms what scientists have said for months: N95 and other respirator masks are far superior to surgical or cloth masks in protecting essential medical workers against the coronavirus.

The results, published on Monday in The Lancet, make it clear that the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should recommend that essential workers like nurses and emergency responders wear N95 masks, not just surgical masks, experts said.

“It’s been disappointing that both the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. have suggested that surgical masks are adequate, and they’re clearly not,” said David Michaels, a professor at George Washington University who headed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Obama.

“Reliance on surgical masks has no doubt led to many workers being infected,” he said.

N95 masks offered 96 percent protection, the analysis found, while the figure for

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After Coronavirus, Office Workers Might Face Unexpected Health Threats

When you finally return to work after the lockdown, coronavirus might not be the only illness you need to worry about contracting at the office.

Office buildings once filled with employees emptied out in many cities and states as shelter-in-place orders were issued. These structures, normally in constant use, have been closed off and shut down, and health risks might be accumulating in unseen ways.

“The buildings aren’t designed to be left alone for months,” said Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil, environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Dr. Whelton, other researchers and public health authorities have issued warnings about the plumbing in these buildings, where water may have gone stagnant in the pipes or even in individual taps and toilets. As lockdowns are lifted, bacteria that build up internally may cause health problems for returning workers if the problem is not properly addressed by facilities managers. Employees

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‘I Can’t Turn My Brain Off’: PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers

The coronavirus patient, a 75-year-old man, was dying. No family member was allowed in the room with him, only a young nurse.

In full protective gear, she dimmed the lights and put on quiet music. She freshened his pillows, dabbed his lips with moistened swabs, held his hand, spoke softly to him. He wasn’t even her patient, but everyone else was slammed.

Finally, she held an iPad close to him, so he could see the face and hear the voice of a grief-stricken relative Skyping from the hospital corridor.

After the man died, the nurse found a secluded hallway, and wept.

A few days later, she shared her anguish in a private Facebook message to Dr. Heather Farley, who directs a comprehensive staff-support program at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. “I’m not the kind of nurse that can act like I’m fine and that something sad didn’t just happen,”

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C.D.C. Says More Than 9,000 Health Care Workers Have Contracted Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that 9,282 health care professionals had contracted the coronavirus in the United States as of April 9 and that 27 had died from it.

The agency cautioned that the numbers were most likely higher than reported because of inconsistencies in data-gathering and the lack of information during the outbreak. “This is likely an underestimation,” the report said, because the occupational status of patients was available for only 16 percent of the cases in the United States reported to the C.D.C.

Health care workers are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic because of their proximity to infected patients, a situation made worse because some have been working with inadequate protective equipment and clothing resulting from shortages.

The report said that some health care professionals with mild or asymptomatic cases might not have been tested at all.

The 9,282 reported

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