As countries continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are hard at work trying to figure out which preventative interventions can help stop the spread.
We already know that social distancing and handwashing is vital and should be considered the first line of defence. But a new study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that face masks could be the key variable that makes all the difference.
“Our analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic,” the team, from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, California Institute of Technology, and the University of California San Diego, write in their new paper.
The team studied interventions in three different epicentres of the outbreak. Wuhan, Italy, and New York City have been hotspots and researchers looked at data from 23 January to 9 May 2020 in these areas to see how the different interventions impacted the rate of transmission.
Study author Mario Molina said in an in a statement:
"Our study establishes very clearly that using a face mask is not only useful to prevent infected coughing droplets from reaching uninfected persons, but is also crucial for these uninfected persons to avoid breathing the minute atmospheric particles (aerosols) that infected people emit when talking and that can remain in the atmosphere tens of minutes and can travel tens of feet.”
Masks aren't fool proof, of course, but every intervention can make a difference. Making masks as safe as possible is all the more important.
Sannino Bespoke face masks is treated with HeiQ Viroblock one of the first textile technologies in the world to be effective against the SARS-COV2 virus that causes COVID19.