Two masks, snug fit reduces COVID-19 spread, U.S. study shows

By Manas Mishra (Reuters) - Making sure a mask fits snugly on the face and use of two masks is likely to significantly reduce a person's exposure to the coronavirus, laboratory experiments described by U.S. health officials on Wednesday showed. The U.S.

Reuters February 11, 2021 00:12:42 IST
Two masks, snug fit reduces COVID-19 spread, U.S. study shows

Two masks snug fit reduces COVID19 spread US study shows

By Manas Mishra

(Reuters) - Making sure a mask fits snugly on the face and use of two masks is likely to significantly reduce a person's exposure to the coronavirus, laboratory experiments described by U.S. health officials on Wednesday showed.

The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January conducted experiments to see how well wearing a cloth mask over a three-ply medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking the excess material close to the face, protects against COVID-19.

They found that both these methods helped reduce the exposure to potentially infected aerosols by more than 90% in laboratory simulations.

The data also showed that wearing a mask helped reduce exposure to aerosol particles that were the size of droplets that spread COVID-19, when compared to wearing no mask at all.

The experiments highlight that "masks work, and they work best when they have a good fit and are worn correctly," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters.

Walesnky added that re-useable devices known as mask-fitters were also an option to improve a mask's fit.

Results from one experiment demonstrated that the un-knotted medical procedure mask alone blocked 42.0% of the particles from a simulated cough, and the cloth mask alone blocked 44.3%.

The double mask combination blocked 92.5% of the cough particles.

In another experiment, the CDC tried to simulate the spread of COVID-19 during breathing when one or both people are properly masked. In the first scenario with only the source of the aerosols wearing a mask, they found coronavirus exposure was reduced by 82.2% when double-masking, and 62.9% with a snug fitting, knotted and tucked surgical mask.

When the source and receiver of simulated breathing aerosols were both fitted with double masks, or knotted and tucked medical masks, the exposure of the receiver was reduced 96.4% and 95.9%, respectively, the experiments found.

With more highly contagious virus variants circulating, CDC medical officer John Brooks told the Washington Post, "whatever we can do to improve the fit of a mask to make it work better, the faster we can end this pandemic.”

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.