Avoid Wearing Face Mask Halfway: Coronavirus May Enter Brain Via Nose, Says Study

There are various studies according to which noses are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection

We all know how important it is to wear a mask in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But masks are only effective if it is worn properly with covering both your nose and mouth.

But now people have become lenient about COVID-19 precautions. Many people prefer to wear masks pulled down with covering only their mouth and leaving their nose exposed.

There’s a high chance of you getting infected with the novel coronavirus if you’re wearing a face mask halfway. There are various studies according to which noses are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

According to a research, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, novel coronavirus may enter the brain of people through the nose.

However, until now, it was not clear where the virus enters and how it is distributed within the brain.

SARS-CoV-2 not only affects the respiratory tract but also impacts the central nervous system (CNS), the researchers pointed out. The virus entering the respiratory tract may result in neurological symptoms like loss of smell, taste, headache, fatigue, and nausea.

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Presence Of Viral RNA Found In Various Areas Of The Brain

Researchers from Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany examined the nasopharnyx found the origin of this mystifying path, which is the upper part of the throat that connects to the nasal cavity and is likely the first site of viral infection and replication.

They found the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in the brain and nasopharynx, where intact virus particles were also detected.

According to the researchers, the highest levels of viral RNA were found in the olfactory mucous membrane. Higher SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels were found in cases with shorter disease duration, said the researchers.

SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in certain types of cells within the olfactory mucous layer was found by them. This is where the virus may develop the proximity of endothelial and nervous tissue to gain entry to the brain, the researchers suggested.

SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was found in cells expressing markers of neurons. In some patients, brain areas that receive smell and taste signals may be infected as well, according to researchers.

SARS-CoV-2 was also found in other areas of the nervous system, including the medulla oblongata — the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center of the brain.

One more study conducted in April that was published in the journal Nature Medicine also suggested that the nose is a key entry point for the COVID-19 virus.

The researchers further explained that nasal cells, in particular, contain high levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins that SARS-CoV-2 attaches to enter the body.

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How To Wear Mask Correctly

We must keep in mind that the pandemic is not over yet. It is very important that you don’t forget to wear face masks while going out in public. You also need to make sure that you’re wearing the masks properly.

According to US CDC guidelines, face masks should cover both the nose and the mouth and fit securely under the chin.

Here are some dos and don’ts for wearing a mask as listed in the CDC guidelines:

  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or upon your forehead
  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask.
  • While taking off your mask, untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
  • Place mask in the washing machine after use.
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