Tests on hamsters have shown that the use of masks reduces the spread of COVID-19. A study by scientists from the University of Hong Kong is published in Medicalxpress.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and many other health organizations in their recommendations do not recommend the use of medical masks, stating that with daily wear they do not have a significant effect. Instead, organizations suggest leaving masks for doctors who are at the forefront of the fight against the epidemic.
A new study showed that masks protect against a new type of coronavirus more effectively than previously thought. In their work, the researchers tested whether medical masks could interfere with charged COVID-19 with or without symptoms of infecting others.
To do this, scientists placed hamsters artificially infected with a new type of coronavirus in a cage next to a cage with healthy animals. A non-woven filter was used between the cells, which is used in the manufacture of medical masks.
Researchers purged a cage with infected hamsters in air currents. aimed at the filter and the cage with healthy animals. Then a similar experiment was repeated without a filter.
The work showed that when using masks, the contactless transmission of the virus can be reduced by more than 60%.
In cases where no masks were used, two-thirds of healthy hamsters became infected within a week. The infection rate dropped to just over 15% when scientists put the filter on a cage with infected animals, and about 35% when the filter was on a cage with healthy animals.
“From our work, it is clear that masks are effective for infected people, especially when their disease is asymptomatic. However, this does not mean that masks are 100% protected from infection”.
Ewan Kwok-Jung, lead author of the research