- Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the fabric face mask to the general public.
- These masks are not as protective as surgical masks or N95 respirators, but are highly efficient at filtering out some viral particles.
- Here’s how scientists ranked the material from the least protective to the fairest.
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The science is clear: Face masks can prevent coronavirus transmission and save lives.
A preliminary analysis of 194 countries found that a 55% weekly increase in deaths from coronovirus was seen after the first case report in places where masks were not recommended, where cultures wearing masks or guidelines Compared to 7% of countries. A University of Washington model predicted that the US could prevent at least 45,000 coronovirus deaths by November if 95% of the population had to wear a face mask in public.
But not all masks provide the same level of protection.
The ideal face mask blocks large respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing – the primary method by which people pass coronovirus to others – along with small airborne particles, called aerosols, when people talk or exhale.
The World Health Organization recommends health workers, elderly people, people with underlying health conditions, and people who have tested positive for coronovirus or medical masks to show symptoms. According to the WHO, healthy individuals who do not fall into these categories should wear a cloth mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend cloth masks to the general public.
But even clothes masks vary, as some types are more porous than others.
“It depends on the quality,” said Dr., an infectious-disease physician in Marin County, California. Ramzi Asafar said that he is a spider. “If you’re making a cloth mask with a 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheet, that’s different from making a cheap T-shirt that isn’t too finely woven.”
In the past few months, scientists have been evaluating the most effective mask ingredients to trap coronaviruses. Their results here are, by far, the least protective.