On July 6, 2018, a man opened fire on a crowd of people at a birthday party at a local pizzeria, killing four and injuring 21 others.
Authorities said he was motivated by the death of his mother.
Now, a new study by researchers at the University of California at San Diego and the Cleveland Clinic suggests a simple but effective way to keep spread of the disease in check.
Researchers found that individuals with the virus who wore masks and kept their mouths closed in public were more likely to catch the virus.
“People who are less likely to wear masks and who are not using a mouthpiece or mouthpiece-based barrier are more likely than those who are wearing masks and are using mouthpieces to spread the disease,” said Dr. Jeffrey M. Schaffer, associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences and the lead author of the study, which was published online in the journal PLOS ONE.
“The people who have the virus are contagious, so there’s no real barrier to catching the virus.”
A new study suggests a way to prevent the spread of West Nile virus.
(Courtesy of the University at Buffalo) Maintaining public health was an important goal for the study’s authors, Dr. Matthew M. Miller, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the UB School of Public Health, and Dr. Nicholas P. Fung, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Cleveland Department of Public Heath.
“We want to protect our communities from the spread,” said Miller, who was not involved in the study.
The researchers found that among individuals who wore a mask, the rate of infection dropped significantly if they had been infected by someone who was infected with West Nile.
“That’s a great example of the importance of the masks,” said Mollie Hickey, a research assistant at the CU-Boulder Center for Public Health and Community Health and the study co-author.
“But masks are not a panacea.
They’re a very small part of the solution.”
The masks were not just helpful for preventing the spread; they also reduced the chance of transmission by a third.
In addition, mask use reduced the number of people infected by coronavirus and the number who had died from the virus, the researchers found.
They also found that the masks reduced the amount of spread in some areas of the city, which is why they were recommended for people in nursing homes and other institutions with high numbers of people in isolation.
Miller said that, while the masks have a role to play, they are not the only means to protect against West Nile, and they are hardly the only way.
“This study shows that the mask is a very important component of the public health response,” he said.
“What we’re trying to do is identify the best way to reduce transmission, which means that we need to look at a lot of other approaches.”