Wearing face masks best way to reduce coronavirus transmission

Henrietta Strickland
June 17, 2020

Researchers have evaluated the effectiveness of different strategies to stop the spread of infection and determine how the virus spreads primarily.

They shaped the study around when officials called on the public to wear masks and compared this with infection levels before and after the guidance was issued. In contrast, mitigation measures were implemented at different times in Italy and NY.

To determine how the main infection method of the virus was, researchers analyzed trends in infection rates in three epicenters of the pandemic - Wuhan, China, Italy and New York City.

From trends and mitigation procedures in China, Italy and New York City, the researchers found that using a face mask reduced the number of infections by more than 78,000 in Italy from April 6-May 9 and by over 66,000 in New York City from April 17-May 9. The use of a face mask in NY has been required since April 17.

"Wearing a face mask as well as practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing will greatly reduce the chances of anyone contracting the COVID-19 virus."
They looked at mitigation measures in those places, such as extensive testing, segregation, contact detection, social distance, and mandatory use of face masks. They found that infection rates in Italy and NY only began to decline after face masks became mandatory, not after the blockade was imposed in Italy or after orders to stay home went into effect in NY. It compared the rate of spread before and after the countries implemented protective measures.

"The unique function of face covering to block atomization and inhalation of virus-bearing aerosols accounts for the significantly reduced infections", researchers said.

They believe that the airborne transmission route is highly virulent and dominant for the spread of COVID-19.

The study noted that in contrast to China, the use of facial masks was unpopular in most of the Western world during the beginning of the pandemic outbreak. However, the researchers said the evidence showed that the masks were trying to spread slowly.

CDC director Robert Redfield, MD, said while the country has made "great progress", continued focus is needed on slowing COVID-19 transmission, and that "people who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic can contribute to spreading".

Researchers wrote that both the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized the prevention of contact transmission, but both organizations largely overlooked the importance of the airway delivery path.

The team of five researchers is from Texas A&M University, University of Texas, University of California, San Diego and California Institute of Technology.

New York City has at the very least 205,846 coronavirus situations and at the very least 17,351 confirmed deaths with an more 4,692 probable deaths, according to the NYC Section of Health and fitness.

On the telebriefing, CDC officials discussed results of an online survey published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - conducted May 5-12 in New York City, Los Angeles, and a nationwide cohort - which found strong public support for the recommended interventions, as well as the stay-at-home orders issued by individual states.

The coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Other institutions can also reopen from June 25, including summer camps, kindergartens, betting rooms, and bingo halls, Conte explained, asserting that he had just signed a decree that eases additional the lockdown actions. Non-professional sports that involve physical contact can also be continued.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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