Professional and Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population

Principal Findings

All types of masks reduced aerosol exposure, relatively stable over time, unaffected by duration of wear or type of activity, but with a high degree of individual variation. Personal respirators were more efficient than surgical masks, which were more efficient than home-made masks. Regardless of mask type, children were less well protected. Outward protection (mask wearing by a mechanical head) was less effective than inward protection (mask wearing by healthy volunteers).

Conclusions/Significance

Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection. Masks worn by patients may not offer as great a degree of protection against aerosol transmission.

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The key takeaways appear to be what we really already know, wear your masks when you are in proximity to others.

Ms. Jenn Landers | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC
Edited by Dr. Justin Groode 

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