Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

U.S. CDC may recommend better masks against Omicron - Washington Post

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Masks are produced at United Safety Tech, a startup that is poised to open a new N95 mask factory in La Verne, California, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Timothy Aeppel

Jan 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering updating its mask guidance because of an increase in the number of Omicron-related coronavirus cases, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The agency will likely advise people opt for the highly protective N95 or KN95 masks worn by healthcare personnel, if they can do so consistently, the newspaper reported, citing an official close to the deliberations.

The CDC guidance is expected to say that if people can "tolerate wearing a KN95 or N95 mask all day, you should," the report said.

The United States reported at least 1.13 million new COVID-19 infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total of any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing. read more

Last week, CDC Director Rochelle Walenksy told NBC News' "Today" program the Omicron-driven surge in U.S. COVID-19 cases has likely not topped out yet. read more

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Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Christian Schmollinger

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