If you aren't yet fully convinced that masks reduce the transmission rate of the coronavirus COVID-19 and other coronaviruses - this is the study for you.
A new study has been published in The Lancet that consists of researchers examining 44 studies that involved 25,000 people in 16 different countries. This study was backed by the World Health Organization and found that keeping a distance of even three feet can reduce the chances of viral transmission by 82%. The study also found that wearing a face mask lowers the risk of infection or transmission to just 3%, compared to 17% if you aren't wearing a mask. Put simply, wearing a mask reduces your chances of transmission by more than 80%.
The study also looked at the effectiveness of N95 respirators, which are commonly used by medical staff that are battling the virus on the front line. The N95 masks were found to be 96% effective at protecting people from viral infection, which is a large jump from the 76% effectiveness for surgical masks. senior author Holger Schunemann said, "Our findings are the first to synthesize all direct information on COVID-19, SARS, and MERS, and provide the currently best available evidence on the optimum use of these common and simple interventions to help 'flatten the curve."
On top of that, Raina MacIntyre, a professor at the University of New South Wales' Kirby Institute in Australia, said, "For health care workers on COVID-19 wards, a [N95] respirator should be the minimum standard of care. Supports universal face mask use, because masks were equally effective in both health care and community settings."
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