Below from the CDC page.

Interim Guidance for the Use of Masks to Control Seasonal Influenza Virus Transmission

Guidelines and Recommendations

The following interim CDC guidance was developed in response to questions about the role of masks for controlling seasonal influenza virus transmission.

Background

Seasonal influenza viruses  are believed to be transmitted from person-to-person primarily through  virus-laden droplets that are generated when infected persons speak, cough or sneeze; these droplets can be deposited onto the mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract of susceptible persons who are near the droplet source. Transmission also may occur through direct and indirect contact with infectious respiratory secretions, (e.g., by hands that subsequently deliver infectious material to the eyes, nose or mouth).

A combination of infection prevention control strategies is recommended to decrease transmission of influenza viruses in healthcare settings. These include source control (immediately putting a surgical mask on patients being evaluated for respiratory symptoms), promptly placing suspected influenza patients in private rooms, and having healthcare personnel wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with suspected influenza. Additional information about PPE and other prevention strategies for personnel caring for patients with seasonal influenza is available. A mask should be worn by infectious patients any time they leave the isolation room.

The following recommendations focus on the appropriate use of masks as part of a group of influenza control strategies in healthcare settings. Masks are not usually recommended in non-healthcare settings; however, this guidance provides other strategies for limiting the spread of influenza viruses in the community.

Healthcare Settings

Symptomatic or Infected Patients

During periods of increased acute respiratory infections  in the community, coughing patients and anyone suspected of having influenza should wear a mask at all times until they are isolated in a private room. (see Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in Healthcare Settings). Masks should be worn by these patients until

  1. it is determined that the cause of symptoms is not an infection that requires isolation precautions or
  2. the patient has been appropriately isolated, either by placement in a private room or in some circumstances by placement in a room with other patients with the same infection (cohorting). The patient does not need to wear a mask while isolated, except when being transported outside the isolation room.

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Healthcare Personnel

A surgical mask or fit-tested respirator should be worn by healthcare personnel who are within 6 feet of a suspected or laboratory-confirmed influenza patient. A respirator can be selected when antiviral medication supplies are expected to be limited and influenza vaccine is not available, e.g., during a pandemic. Standard and droplet precautions should be maintained until the patient has been determined to be noninfectious or for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer, while a patient is in a healthcare facility. In some cases, facilities may choose to apply droplet precautions for longer periods based on clinical judgment, such as in the case of young children or severely immunocompromised patients, who may shed influenza virus for longer periods of time. Further guidance is available at: Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings.

Non-Healthcare Settings

Symptomatic Persons

Adults can shed influenza virus 1 day before symptoms appear and up to approximately 5 to 7 days after onset of illness; thus, the selective use of masks (e.g., in proximity to a known symptomatic person) may not effectively limit transmission in the community. Young children, immunocompromised persons of any age, and critically ill patients with influenza can shed influenza viruses in the respiratory tract for prolonged periods. Moreover, because no single intervention can provide complete protection against influenza virus transmission, emphasis should be placed on multiple strategies including pharmaceutical (e.g., vaccines and antiviral medications) and non-pharmaceutical interventions. The latter group include: 1) community measures (e.g., social distancing and school closures); 2) environmental measures (e.g., routine surface cleaning); and 3) personal protective measures such as encouraging symptomatic persons to:

  • cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing,
  • use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and, after use, to dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle, and
  • perform hand hygiene (e.g., handwashing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, and alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.

Persons who are diagnosed with influenza by a physician or who have a febrile respiratory illness during a period of increased influenza activity in the community should remain at home until the fever is resolved for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medications) and the cough is resolving to avoid exposing other members of the public. If such symptomatic persons cannot stay home during the acute phase of their illness, consideration should be given to having them wear a mask in public places when they may have close contact with other persons. In addition, masks are recommended for use by symptomatic, post-partum women while caring for and nursing their infant (see Guidance for Prevention and Control of Influenza in the Peri- and Postpartum Settings).

Unvaccinated Asymptomatic Persons, Including Those at High Risk for Influenza Complications

No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses. If unvaccinated high-risk persons decide to wear masks during periods of increased respiratory illness activity in the community, it is likely they will need to wear them any time they are in a public place and when they are around other household members.

Annual influenza vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza in persons at high risk for complications from  influenza virus infection. However, influenza vaccine effectiveness is variable, and some vaccinated persons can get sick with influenza. Administration of antiviral medications for early treatment of influenza is a useful adjunct in the control of influenza in these persons. Antiviral treatment is recommended as soon as possible for hospitalized influenza patients, people who are very sick with influenza but who do not need to be hospitalized, and people who are at high risk of serious complications based on their age or health if they develop influenza.

See the series here.  Oh, and transactivism in 4 panels.

 

 

I think it is important now to revisit this topic as the world is now in the grips of a Pandemic. Please watch, and arm yourself to the best of your ability against the potential social isolation and loneliness that could be experienced in the days and months to come.

I forewarn you, if you are about to start the DS9 series, you will have to persevere through the first season, as the cast and writing crew had not found their sea legs yet. But after season one (arguably) the show really started to cement in the story arcs that culminate with this darkly pivotal moment in the Star Trek Universe.

The Federation ostensibly in the Star Trek universe are the good guys – they are us – and that motif is quite evident in the other series that populate the canon. DS9, once it gets going, shifts the moral compass and makes everything more complicated and ethically entangled. It is much more engrossing dramatic experience as this clip illustrates. It is this muddy ethical field that makes DS9, if you can only watch one Star Trek series, the one to watch.

The population of the US is now shown exactly the parameters of the class war being waged.  Will they realize the stakes and take action against their class antagonists? Paul Street writes in Counterpunch about the divide in the US and how radically different ‘solutions’ are being proposed – hint – the work and die option is for the poor people…

 

“The priority of the people (for the most part),” Rivers-Pitt, “is to stay safe, to get well if they fall ill, and to do what must be done to eventually return to some semblance of a normal life. The priority of the capitalists is to get the money machine going again, to take full advantage of the crisis, …and to defend their well-staked financial turf from any reforms that may be proposed in the aftermath….U.S.-style capitalism is also a virus, and it has infected every aspect of this situation. Worker safety, insurance coverage and costs, medical preparedness, and vital supplies — even the bill intended to rescue the country from some final financial calamity: All have been perverted and disrupted by the profit motive that never, ever, ever sleeps.”

True dat but how is any of this remotely new or surprising? This is savage class-rule capitalism. Let’s leave national variations out for now. As two young materialist and economically inclined German philosophers and radicals noted in 1848:

“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment.’ It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.”

The young radicals added something else worth noting at the outset of their historic manifesto: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles… oppressor and oppressed, …a fight that …end[s] either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

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