Do Masks Protect Against The New Coronavirus

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Do Masks Protect Against The New Coronavirus
Do Masks Protect Against The New Coronavirus

Video: Do Masks Protect Against The New Coronavirus

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Video: Does Wearing a Face Covering Really Stop COVID-19? 2023, February
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Do masks protect against the new coronavirus

Medical masks are one of the available ways to protect against infections that are transmitted by airborne droplets. Due to the spread of the new coronavirus pneumonia, many countries are calling for their use. Let's figure out how effectively they can protect against a new infection, what is the probability that the enemy will break through.

Do masks protect against the new coronavirus
Do masks protect against the new coronavirus

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Medical masks are one of the available ways to protect against infections that are transmitted by airborne droplets. Due to the spread of the new coronavirus pneumonia, many countries are calling for their use. Let's figure out how effectively they can protect against a new infection, what is the probability that the enemy will break through.

How it was with other coronaviruses

Since the world is now facing the threat of a new coronavirus, it makes sense to check how effectively masks have protected against its "close relative", the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. An epidemic of this disease, caused by a representative of coronaviruses, happened in 2003, it killed 9% of cases.

The effectiveness of wearing a mask in the prevention of SARS has been demonstrated by at least 9 observational studies. According to one of them, those who constantly wore the mask were 70% less likely to contract the disease than those who never wore it. Those who wore the mask periodically fell ill 60% less often. Health care workers who irregularly used protective equipment, including masks, were more likely to contract SARS.

Scientists point out that all of these studies have flaws. But the consistency of their results suggests that wearing masks makes sense.

What are the best masks to wear?

The two main types of masks are the surgical mask and the respiratory mask. In one study, a respirator was shown to be superior in preventing infection. But other scientific papers do not support this. A qualitative study published in 2019 also showed that the effectiveness of both types of masks is about the same. All the studies that support the effectiveness of masks emphasize that regular wear is required in case of danger, and not occasionally.

What experts say about the effectiveness of masks

Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, chair of the American Infectious Diseases Society's health committee, told the New York Times that masks are "the last line of defense."

“We are concerned that people feel more protected wearing masks than they really are. Washing hands and avoiding sick people is more important than wearing masks."

Another problem is that people may not wear the mask correctly. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center, said:

“Most people can scratch their face or rub their nose under the mask and get the infection through contact. You shouldn't take off your mask when you're on the phone."

Dr David Carrington of the University of London told BBC News that wearing a mask loosely increases the likelihood of infection.

You can learn about all the measures for the prevention of new coronavirus pneumonia from our material.

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