Wednesday Magazines: Unusual Coronavirus Symptoms, Better Masks, Rural Broadband

Wednesday Magazines: Unusual Coronavirus Symptoms, Better Masks, Rural Broadband

When the government expects to update the advice on the use of masks later this week, experts from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) suggest that the so-called FFP class protection may not be necessary in all cases, reports Helsingin sanomat newspaper.

In recent days, several European countries including Germany have authorized the use of FFP2 respirators in public places. Respirators complying with the FFP2 standard are snug, which reduces the risk of particles escaping from the sides. Under the new German rules, the use of cloth masks is no longer allowed in public places.

According to HS, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health asked FIOH to submit a report on whether FFP-class devices should be used more widely in Finland.

Conclusion? "The surgical mask is sufficient for everyday use, and FFP2-level respirators do not need to be used more widely in Finland," says Antti Koivula, Director General of FIOH.

The FIOH report also stated that there are not enough FFP2 devices for all Finns to use them when needed.

Current instructions The use of masks by the Department of Health and Welfare (THL) recommends the use of face masks indoors, such as in workplaces and schools, in other public interiors, such as shops, and when using public transportation.

How do you detect a British coronavirus variant?

Some of the common symptoms associated with the coronavirus are not as common in the newer British variant of the virus, say daily in the tabloid Evening News, and therefore it appears to spread much more easily.

The paper refers to a study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which found that loss of taste and smell – commonly reported symptoms of Covid-19 – was "significantly less common" in the British variant of the virus.

According to IS, the British variant has symptoms that better match the symptoms of seasonal influenza viruses, which may help spread it more quickly.

IS quotes British virology Richard Tedder, which told BMJ "if a particular variant of the virus is associated with increased coughing and possibly sneezing, these two activities can significantly increase the amount of virus released into the environment and thus make it more ‘contagious’."

Professor at the University of Helsinki Olli Vapalahti agrees and tells Ilta-Sanomat that "Variants from the UK and South Africa have been observed mainly in the nasopharynx. From there, the virus spreads more easily, which epidemiologically makes it more ‘contagious’."

Rural broadband is lagging behind

Finnish rural newspaper, Future of the countryside, reports that not all Finnish municipalities have equal access to a high-speed Internet connection.

Although 82 per cent of Helsinki’s homes have a fixed broadband connection of at least 100 megabits per second, only 26 per cent of households in neighboring Sipoo can say the same.

MT states that in 33 of Finland’s 309 municipalities, a fixed 100Mbps connection is available to less than 10 per cent of households. Most of these municipalities are in rural areas.

The document claims that Finland has one of the lowest high-speed broadband penetration rates in rural areas in the EU, although there are some exceptions. At the top of the series table is the municipality of Lapland in Sodankylä, where 100 percent of households can use a 100Mbps internet connection.

Source: The Nordic Page

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