Growing Number of Research Reports Demonstrate That Masks Are Saving Lives

Masks are saving lives all over the world as reported widely by Researchers and news reports.

By Nancy Schimelpfening, Fact checked by Dana K. Cassell,

  • Masks work by creating a physical barrier to the spread of virus-containing respiratory droplets.
  • Transmission of the coronavirus is thought to occur through respiratory droplets that are released when people speak, sneeze, or talk, according to Dr. MeiLan Han, a professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care at the University of Michigan.
  • If these droplets land in the mouth or nose of people nearby, or are inhaled into the lungs, a person can contract the virus.
  • Masks create a physical barrier that catches these droplets and prevents them from spreading as far into the surrounding air as they normally would.
  • Han said the masks become even more important because a significant proportion of people who get COVID-19 either don’t exhibit symptoms or there’s a delay before symptoms show up.
  • Studies show, however, that these people can still transmit the virus to people around them.
  • The data suggest that the use of face coverings can help limit the spread of the disease by these asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals, said Han.

American Medical Association (JAMA): Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now

  • The report by Wang et al provides practical, timely, and compelling evidence that community-wide face covering is another means to help control the national COVID-19 crisis.
  • Two reports published this week in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provide additional new data about face coverings.
  • One report indicates that use of face coverings increased following the April 3, 2020, announcement by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the CDC that recommended their adoption in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Another report from investigators in Missouri found that adherence to universal masking for source control as mandated by city ordinance and company policy helped prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from 2 symptomatically infected stylists at a hair salon in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Before they were diagnosed as having COVID-19, the hair stylists had served 139 clients but had been required to wear masks at all times while working with them.
  • After public health contact tracing with the hair salon clients and after 2 weeks of follow-up, no symptoms of COVID-19 were identified among the exposed clients or their secondary contacts.
  • Among 104 interviewed clients, 102 (98%) reported wearing face coverings for their entire appointment.
  • In addition, another analysis published by Goldman Sachs Research suggests that expanding community masking by 15% could prevent the need to bring back stay-at-home orders that would otherwise cost an estimated 5% of gross domestic product, or a projected cost of $1 trillion.

References, Research, News Reports

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