New WHO study confirms face masks are effective in reducing COVID-19 spread

Researchers who reviewed 172 research about the effectiveness of masks, eye safety and bodily distancing in lowering the unfold of COVID-19 verify what many well being officers have already been saying: They work.

The World Well being Group-funded study checked out analysis carried out in 16 international locations on six continents as a way to put together clear steerage on the problem.

Dr. David Harris, a Vancouver infectious illness doctor and one of many report’s co-authors, stated the examine supplies confidence that “the people who find themselves making the suggestions are making them primarily based on sound science.”

“It has been complicated for lots of people round masks use,” stated Harris. “From this evaluation, we have discovered masking, or carrying any sort of masks locally does assist … mitigate that danger of transmission locally, in addition to in well being care settings.”

In British Columbia, early recommendation on carrying masks to stop the unfold of COVID-19 discouraged their use in the group, with the warning that they can provide the particular person carrying a masks a false sense of safety, and result in additional face touching to regulate the masks.

In April, the message began to shift, and by late Might masks were recommended in cases the place bodily distancing could not be maintained.

Recommendation from well being officers about carrying face masks has modified through the pandemic. (Robert Quick/CBC)

The brand new examine confirms masks are efficient each in well being care and group settings.

Harris stated there have been initially masks shortages all over the world which can have influenced the messages put out by well being officers. 

Harris stated any sort of masks goes to assist cut back transmission of COVID-19 locally.

“Once I see any person carrying a masks, I really feel completely satisfied that they are carrying a masks as a result of I do know that they are — if they’ve it over their face they usually cough or sneeze — they’re defending me,” he stated.

Harris stated individuals who put on a masks improperly, depart it hanging round their chin or ceaselessly modify it, danger infecting themselves. However so long as they put it in entrance of their face when near different individuals, they’re decreasing the danger of spreading the virus.

The WHO document that supplies steerage primarily based on the brand new examine suggests methods to make more practical non-medical masks to be worn locally.

It says non-elastic supplies ought to be used to keep away from growing its pore dimension and a number of layers are necessary. Relying on the fabric, no less than three layers ought to be used.

The WHO recommends a masks that matches snugly across the edges, with an internal layer made out of a material like cotton that absorbs moisture, and an outer layer comprised of polypropylene or polyester that repels moisture.

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