Dr. Anthony Fauci has suggested that people should wear goggles or face shields to get added protection from contracting the coronavirus, according to a report.
“If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who serves on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton on Wednesday.
“You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye,” he said. “Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”
The doctor said that while goggles and eye or face shields are “not universally recommended” currently, “if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can.” Asked if eye protection could become an official recommendation, Fauci said, “It might, if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces.”
In his interview, Fauci also said he hopes Americans wearing masks in the fall will also stem the spread of the flu. “It is inevitable that we’re going to have some degree of flu,” he said. “I’m hoping that the wearing of masks and other coverings are going to not only protect us against COVID-19, but also help protect us against influenza.”
There was initial confusion over masks. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams on Feb. 29 delivered a message for Americans worried about the coronavirus: Stop buying masks.
“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” tweeted Adams, an anesthesiologist who has been surgeon general since 2017. “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” Adams wrote.
But that was months ago, when worried Americans were busy emptying shelves of all medical masks. Doctors and immunologists now believe that masks help stem the spread from those who have the virus to the uninfected, and many states have issued orders for residents to wear masks when in public places.
By early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended masks:
Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
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