COVID-19 News and Updates: September 2021 – #5

This face mask may kill off COVID-19, researchers say

Herb Scribner

August 28, 2021 (Deseret News) — Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico might have created a face mask that can stop COVID-19, according to Reuters.

Can this new face mask stop COVID-19?

The face mask — which uses silver and copper nanolayers — can neutralize the novel coronavirus, stopping COVID-19 dead in its tracks.

The mask will be called SakCu because “Sak” means silver in the Mayan language and “Cu” is the chemical symbol for copper, per Reuters (via Straits Times).

To test out the mask, the Mexican researchers took viral drops from COVID-19 patients and dropped them on the film on the mask, according to reports.

  • High viral concentration dropped by 80% in eight hours.
  • A lower viral load disappeared completely in two hours.

Can you get the mask?

No mass production has started for the masks, per Reuters. Instead, the researchers said they will make 200 of them per day.

  • The researchers said the mask can be used again and again, and it can be washed up to 10 times. The masks will be available for purchase at the UNAM Store at the university, per Entrepreneur.

Which masks should you wear?

Wearing masks right now is a pretty important step in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious diseases doctor at Intermountain Healthcare, told reporters Thursday that fully vaccinated people should mask up now to slow the spread, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “It doesn’t take the place of common sense. It doesn’t take the place of masks and social distancing, We still have to do those. We have to do those even more now because we’ve got a much more aggressive virus that goes between people much more easily. Masks do work to prevent that,” Vento said.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” at the end of July that people may want to use N95 or K-N95 masks to ward off the delta variant and to stop it from spreading.

  • “I think, though, if you’re going to consider wearing a mask, the quality of the mask does matter. So if you can get your hands on a KN95 mask or an N95 mask, that’s going to afford you a lot more protection,” Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation.”


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