Nickie Louise Nickie
There have been a lot of debates about the effectiveness of face masks against the transmission of coronavirus. Back in March, the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams recommended against the use of facial mask. At the time, Dr. Adam said: “The data doesn’t show that wearing masks in public will help people during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Dr. Adams went on to say that wearing a face mask “can also give you a false sense of security.” Citing WHO and CDC, Dr. Adams said: “What the World Health Organization [WHO] and the CDC [The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] have reaffirmed in the last few days is that they do not recommend the general public wear masks.”
That all changed on April 13 after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that Americans wear cloth masks or face coverings when in public to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In a recommendation posted on its website, the CDC said: “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”
Dr. Adams also changed his message. He said: “In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends and the task force recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” Adams said. “These include places like grocery stores and pharmacies. We especially recommend this in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is critical.”
However, the debate about face mark gets a new life after a neurosurgeon sounded alarm about its danger. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, said that face masks pose serious risk to healthy people. Dr. Blaylock attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research.
In a long editorial published at technocracy, Dr. Blaylock said there is no scientific evidence that masks are effective against COVID-19 transmission.
As for the scientific support for the use of face mask, a recent careful examination of the literature, in which 17 of the best studies were analyzed, concluded that, “ None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.” Keep in mind, no studies have been done to demonstrate that either a cloth mask or the N95 mask has any effect on transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Any recommendations, therefore, have to be based on studies of influenza virus transmission. And, as you have seen, there is no conclusive evidence of their efficiency in controlling flu virus transmission.
It is also instructive to know that until recently, the CDC did not recommend wearing a face mask or covering of any kind, unless a person was known to be infected, that is, until recently. Non-infected people need not wear a mask. When a person has TB we have them wear a mask, not the entire community of non-infected. The recommendations by the CDC and the WHO are not based on any studies of this virus and have never been used to contain any other virus pandemic or epidemic in history.
Dr. Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer.
Now that we have established that there is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, are there dangers to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods? Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.
Dr. Blaylock cited several studies to back up his claim.
In one such study, researchers surveyed 212 healthcare workers (47 males and 165 females) asking about presence of headaches with N95 mask use, duration of the headaches, type of headaches and if the person had preexisting headaches.
They found that about a third of the workers developed headaches with use of the mask, most had preexisting headaches that were worsened by the mask wearing, and 60% required pain medications for relief. As to the cause of the headaches, while straps and pressure from the mask could be causative, the bulk of the evidence points toward hypoxia and/or hypercapnia as the cause.
That is, a reduction in blood oxygenation (hypoxia) or an elevation in blood C02 (hypercapnia). It is known that the N95 mask, if worn for hours, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%, which can lead to a loss of consciousness, as happened to the hapless fellow driving around alone in his car wearing an N95 mask, causing him to pass out, and to crash his car and sustain injuries.
I am sure that we have several cases of elderly individuals or any person with poor lung function passing out, hitting their head. This, of course, can lead to death.
A more recent study involving 159 healthcare workers aged 21 to 35 years of age found that 81% developed headaches from wearing a face mask. Some had pre-existing headaches that were precipitated by the masks. All felt like the headaches affected their work performance.
Blaylock says studies have also shown that face masks impair oxygen intake dramatically, potentially leading to serious problems.
The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte.
This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. . This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.
In other words, if you wear a face mask and contract some sickness, you will not be able to fight it off as effectively as if you had normal blood oxygen levels. The mask could make you sicker. It could also create a “deadly cytokine storm” in some.
There is another danger to wearing these masks on a daily basis, especially if worn for several hours. When a person is infected with a respiratory virus, they will expel some of the virus with each breath.
If they are wearing a mask, especially an N95 mask or other tightly fitting mask, they will be constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. We know that people who have the worst reactions to the coronavirus have the highest concentrations of the virus early on. And this leads to the deadly cytokine storm in a selected number.”
Blaylock did not end there. He said face masks can make cancer, heart attacks, and strokes worse.
People with cancer, especially if the cancer has spread, will be at a further risk from prolonged hypoxia as the cancer grows best in a microenvironment that is low in oxygen. Low oxygen also promotes inflammation which can promote the growth, invasion and spread of cancers. Repeated episodes of hypoxia has been proposed as a significant factor in atherosclerosis and hence increases all cardiovascular (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular (strokes) diseases.
If that’s not bad enough, how would you like COVID-19 in your brain?
It gets even more frightening. Newer evidence suggests that in some cases the virus can enter the brain. In most instances it enters the brain by way of the olfactory nerves (smell nerves), which connect directly with the area of the brain dealing with recent memory and memory consolidation. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.
But none if this is really about saving lives.