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Use of face masks brings down respiratory issues by 40 per cent
The pandemic has brought instability and chaos to the lives of everyone the world over. But if one was forced to look at the silver lining, the incidence of many respiratory diseases has come down by 40 per cent with the increased use of face masks for more than a year.
Dr Anantha Subramanian, consultant pulmonologist, Kauvery Hospital in Alwarpet, said respiratory issues like pneumonia have come down significantly. “Nearly 40 per cent of cases have reduced. We haven’t got many patients with respiratory issues in the past few months,” Dr Subramanian added. “There has been a small dip in the number of tuberculosis cases too in the State. This could also be because of the lockdown and people staying indoors,” he said.
Though health experts expected a high mortality rate due to respiratory diseases, the prevalent wearing of masks last year helped a lot of patients.
“Last year, we thought all patients with chronic respiratory disease will be severely affected and mortality rate would shoot up, especially among patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease. But it was not the case. This could be because of wearing masks,” said Dr Prasanna Kumar Thomas, consultant pulmonologist.
Doctors opine that the respiratory issues will come down drastically in the future and people acquiring infection will be very less if everyone sticks to wearing masks. Usually, respiratory infections transmit through droplets.
Dr P Sujatha, a general physician, said, “if people continue to wear face masks, even in the absence of COVID, there would only be minimal cases of respiratory diseases. Respiratory issues among senior citizens have some down by around 25 per cent in the past year.”