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COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be transmitted via respiratory droplets. Why Should I Consider Wearing a Face Mask? Recent studies suggest that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be transmitted by infected persons even in the absence of symptoms of disease. While social distancing and good hand hygiene are the most important methods to prevent virus transmission, new guidelines state that healthy individuals can consider wearing masks in public settings, particularly when physical distancing is difficult (like in grocery stores or pharmacies). Primary benefits of wearing a mask include limiting the spread of the virus from someone who knows or does not know they have an infection to others. Masks also remind others to continue practicing physical distancing. However, nonmedical masks may not be effective in preventing infection for the person wearing them. Masks should not be worn by children younger than 2 years or by individuals who are unable to remove the mask by themselves or are unconscious.
Question: What was the initial experience in Singapore with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)? Findings: In this descriptive case series of the first 18 patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Singapore between January 23 and February 3, 2020, clinical presentation was a respiratory tract infection with prolonged viral shedding from the nasopharynx of 7 days or longer in 15 patients (83%). Supplemental oxygen was required in 6 patients (33%), 5 of whom were treated with lopinavir-ritonavir, with variable clinical outcomes following treatment. Meaning: These findings provide clinical features and course among patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Singapore.
The public health response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China has illustrated that it is possible to contain COVID-19 if governments focus on tried and tested public health outbreak responses.1,2 Isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and community containment measures were rapidly implemented. In China, patients with COVID-19 were immediately isolated in designated existing hospitals, and new hospitals were rapidly built to manage the increasing numbers of cases in the most affected areas. Home quarantine for contacts was initiated and large gatherings were cancelled. Additionally, community containment for approximately 40 million to 60 million residents was instituted. A significant positive association between the incidence of COVID-19 cases and mortality was apparent in the Chinese response.3 That is, the rapid escalation in the number of infections in China had resulted in insufficient health care resources, followed by an increase in mortality.
Numerous mathematical models are being produced to forecast the future of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemics in the US and worldwide. These predictions have far-reaching consequences regarding how quickly and how strongly governments move to curb an epidemic. However, the primary and most effective use of epidemiological models is to estimate the relative effect of various interventions in reducing disease burden rather than to produce precise quantitative predictions about extent or duration of disease burdens. For predictions, “models are not crystal balls,” as Ferguson noted in a recent overview of the role of modelling.

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