A Hat to Protect You from Corona
A HAT TO PROTECT YOU FROM CORONA
BY DR. SANATH HETTIGE(MBBS, DFM,MD,FCGP) HONORARY SENIOR LECTURER, FACULTY OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF COLOMBO, SRI LANKA.CONSULTANT FAMILY PHYSICIAN.
Corona pandemic has resulted in wearing a face mask compulsory in most parts of the world, but covering only the nose and mouth is not sufficient, air borne viral particles can remain in your scalp and hair and be active for a long period of time and enter your upper respiratory tract.
So why not wear a hat? Even wearing a normal hat along with your facemask will give you added protection by protecting your head and neck from deposition of viral particles.
This has not been thought of before. My new invention the Corona Hat will give added benefit by destroying the Corona virus and possibly enhance the development of provide immunity to the virus by inhalation of attenuated virus.
An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin was first declared on 31st December 2019 from Wuhan City in Hubei Province of China. On 7th January 2020, it was diagnosed and reported as “Novel Corona Virus”. On 30th January 2020, WHO declared it as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern On 11the February 2020, the WHO renamed the disease as COVID-19 and on 11th March 2020 declared the outbreak as a pandemic with widespread global transmission into different countries even before identifying the exact epidemiology of the disease (1).
The COVID-19 disease is a viral respiratory tract infection caused by a corona virus. It is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs and sneezes. These droplets are deposited on surfaces or can deposit directly on the face of a person at close distance. A person can get infected by breathing in the virus containing droplets (2).
When exposed to aerosol or airborne virus these viruses can get deposited on your hair,scalp , forehead and the neck area and remain a live for a long time. It’s acommon habit to touch your hair, scratch your scalp and touch your face subsequently.
This causes virus to get in to your nostrils and upper respiratory tract and cause the infection (3).
There is a possibility that the virus can live a lone time in our body surfaces like hair face neck areas, which can then reach the upper respiratory tract (3).
The incubation period is identified as 2-14 days for COVID-19 disease and this is the time period a person can show signs and symptoms after exposure to an infected person. People remain infectious for up to two weeks, and can spread the virus even if they do not show symptoms (4).
As of date 31st December 2020, the global COVID-19 cases were reported as 83,800,241 with global incidence of 10,751 per million populations. The most reported countries are USA, India, UK, and some European countries, with the highest number of cases reported as20,451,302 from USA. The total global deaths/mortality reported as 1,825,030 with 234 deaths per million cases (1).
South East Asia, India and Indonesia reported the highest case numbers of 10,286,329 and 743,198 by 31st December 2020. Sri Lanka reported 43,299 cases and 204 deaths by 31st December 2020 and categorized as cluster transmission stage (5).
Since the transmission is by air bone droplets only means of stopping spread of disease is by isolation or barrier methods.
The only barrier method practiced worldwide is facemasks, which protect only a part of the face but most importantly the respiratory inlets the nostrils and mouth. It is important to note that viral particles deposited on the hair and scalp could easily reach the nostrils or mouth and reach the upper respiratory tract and Cause the disease.
Though surgical caps and other forms of body gear is been used in especial circumstances as for Hospital staff. A hat or a cap that could be worn in day-to- day life has not been promoted worldwide to be protected from SARS-CoV2 infection. This is the first time that an importance of a hat in daily wear have been mentioned in the world literature to protect from COVID-19 or any other infection.
The author strongly understands that regular where of hat, cap or any form of head wear will reduce the probability of been infected by air bone or droplet transmission. Further more this hat will be embedded in zinc and copper containing salts or any other viral toxic solutions.
The New Invention
This invention is a head cover, which could be in the form of a hat or a cap, which will protect or reduce the incidence of infection by aerosol or airborne pathogens like virus, bacteria or any other pathogens.
Figure 1. – HAT Soaked in Anti Viral Chemicals
This hat could be worn during day-to-day activities or as a costume wear and also give you protection against infections like SARS-CoV-2.
The main feature of this hat will be that it will be soaked or embedded in a chemical or chemicals that will be toxic to virus, bacteria or any other disease causing pathogen similar SARS-CoV-2. The chemical could be but not limiting to zinc sulfate or copper combination of both.
These chemical or chemicals are soaked in to the hat or embedded and additional glue could be used to keep chemicals in place and prevent water solubility.
This cap may have one or more additional metallic copper or a zinc band or bands around the hat contacting on the front or back to generate an electric current.
This activity could be augmented by fixing a lightweight battery and or an electric circuit to the hat. This is done to produce a static electrical current or an electric field around the head neck and face to kill the air bone virus reaching you.
The hat may contain one or all the above features for additional advantage.
One of the main concerns about face masks is that during its use viral particles can be deposited on the surface of the mask and will not be destroyed so when you medal with the masks during wear the virus on the surface of the mask can reach your nostrils. Anti viral chemicals cannot be embedded on facemask because the chemicals will be in immediate proximity to the mouth and nostrils and high possibility of inhalation.
This especially designed hat will contain chemicals that will destroy the virus or make the virus attenuate incapable of infection. The inhalation of attenuated or dead viral particles if inhaled can produce immunity to the infection. Inhaled vaccines are under research (6,7). Extensive research has to be conducted to prove this hypothesis.
Conclusions and Recommendations
A hat will definitely reduce the probability of been infected by SARS-CoV-2 infection because it will prevent the deposition of viral particles on the head and neck regions and subsequent entry to the respiratory tract. Understanding this concept does not need advanced research, similar to the fact that the face mask reduced the incidence of COVID-19. Wearing a hat in addition to a face mask will give an added advantage of protection. So I suggest people to wear simple hat with a large brim during their day to day life until such time the more advanced hat which is a patented product that will be available freely in the market.
- 2021. Coronavirus. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1> [Accessed on 21 January 2021]
- 2021. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): How Is It Transmitted?. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel- coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/coronavirus- disease-covid-19-how-is-it-transmitted> [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
- HANES, E., 2020. 'Can COVID Live on Hair?'. [Blog] WEBMD BLOGS PUBLIC HEALTH, Available at: <https://blogs.webmd.com/public- health/20200817/can-covid-live-on-hair> [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
- Coronavirus Incubation Period. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus-incubation-period#1> [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
- lk. 2021. Epidemiology Unit. [online] Available at: https://www.epid.gov.lk/web/ [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
- Paton, J., 2020. Inhaled Vaccines Aim To Fight Coronavirus At Its Point Of Attack. [online] Bloomberg. Available at: <https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-11/covid-19- inhaled-vaccines-may-be-more-effective-than-injections> [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
- Roberts, M., 2020. Coronavirus: UK to test inhaled vaccines. Health editor, BBC News online, [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54147607> [Accessed on 21 January 2021].
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