Wearing Mask Significantly Reduces Virus Infection Rate: Study

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 1351

Mask-Wearing Significantly Reduces COVID-19 Infect
Of all the lifestyle changes imposed to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus, wearing a mask has significantly reduced tens of thousands of infections, a new study has suggested.

Researchers say infection trends shifted dramatically when mask-wearing rules were implemented on April 6 in northern Italy and April 17 in New York City - two epicenters of the pandemic.

"This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of infections, that is, by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9," they calculated in a study published on Thursday in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 

When mask-wearing went into effect in New York, the daily new infection rate fell by about 3% per day, researchers said. In the rest of the country, daily new infections continued to increase.

Direct contact precautions - social distancing, quarantine and isolation, and hand sanitizing - were all in place before mask-wearing rules went into effect in Italy and New York City. But they only help minimize virus transmission by direct contact, while face-covering helps prevent airborne transmission, the researchers say.

"The unique function of face-covering to block atomization and inhalation of virus-bearing aerosols accounts for the significantly reduced infections," they said. That would indicate "that airborne transmission of COVID-19 represents the dominant route for infection," the study concluded. 

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