Coronavirus: estiman que usar barbijo reduce un 65 % las posibilidades de contagio

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Dos expertos destacaron la medida para evitar la transmisión del COVID-19. Hablar en un lugar cerrado puede generar minigotas que pueden permanecer activas 14 minutos. 

El público usa barbijo en el Museo del Louvre. (Foto: EFE).
El público usa barbijo en el Museo del Louvre. (Foto: EFE).

En el ancho de un cabello humano pueden caber tres gotas de saliva. Ese tamaño, expulsado por una persona infectada, puede propagar el coronavirus. Los barbijos caseros probaron ser efectivos para evitar el contagio, sostiene el doctor Dean Blumberg, jefe de enfermedades infecciosas pediátricas del Hospital Infantil Davis de la Universidad de California, de los Estados Unidos.

El médico se basa en las nuevas investigaciones, incluyendo un metaanálisis sobre el distanciamiento social y los cubrimientos faciales publicado el mes pasado en The Lancet, una revista médica. “Aprendimos más gracias a la investigación y a la evidencia científica. Lo que sabemos ahora es que los tapabocas funcionan y son muy importantes”, declaró. 

Fue más preciso, al señalar que “quienes dicen ‘no creo que los barbijos caseros funcionen’ están ignorando la evidencia científica. No es un sistema de creencias. Es como decir: ‘No creo en la gravedad'”.

El hecho de hablar, sostiene el especialista, puede generar miles de minigotas que, en un entorno cerrado, pueden permanecer en el aire hasta 14 minutos. La investigación se publicó en The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, una revista científica multidisciplinaria revisada por pares y en la revista oficial de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias de los Estados Unidos. Según el estudio, las gotitas del habla de los portadores asintomáticos “se consideran cada vez más como un modo probable de transmisión de la enfermedad”

“Los estudios en condiciones de laboratorio muestran que el virus permanece vivo en forma de aerosol con una vida media en la escala de horas. Persiste en el aire”, argumenta el doctor William Ristenpart, profesor de ingeniería química del mismo hospital y recomienda usar tapabocas para estar al aire libre y en cualquier situación social. “El buen flujo de aire dispersará el virus. Si se está en un ambiente interior, hay que abrir las ventanas. Hay que buscar tanto aire fresco como sea posible”, recomendó.

Hay un estudio que ya evidenció que las gotas de entre 20 y 500 micrómetros expulsadas por alguien que está hablando son bloqueadas cuando la boca estaba cubierta por un paño. 

“Las personas que no usan un barbijo aumentan el riesgo de transmisión para todos, no solo para las personas con las que entran en contacto. Es toda la gente con la que esa persona tendrá contacto. Está siendo un miembro irresponsable de la comunidad si no lleva máscara”, remarcó contundente. 

“Sabemos que el distanciamiento social reduce el riesgo de transmisión del virus en un 90 por ciento, y el uso de máscaras disminuye el riesgo en un 65 por ciento”, resume Blumberg y concluye: “Si de verdad te preocupás por tu familia o amigos, o si te interesa la comunidad, usá un tapabocas”

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