Nose Mask Wearing as a Family Outside Home

Nose mask coverings ‘most effective’ in altering COVID-19 curve ─Study

* Pandemic spreads mainly through the air ─Researchers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The strategic importance of the use of nose masks in curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, yet again, has been emphasised as a new research finding concludes that mask-wearing is the “most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission”.

ConsumerConnect gathered that in the latest study, published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, at least 20 states in the United States (US) are witnessing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

This worsening situation the researchers linked to the recent lifting of stay-at-home restrictions, as they found that the change could be the result of a drop in the number of people wearing masks while out in public.

In a new study, scientists from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California San Diego jointly said mask-wearing appears to be a key variable driving the rise and fall of outbreak numbers in recent times.

“Our analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic,” stated the report.

With regard to change in curve, the team analysed various precaution measures in the areas of the world most affected by the Coronavirus (Wuhan, Italy, and New York City) and looked at how case numbers were impacted by the requirement of each measure.

In New York City, for instance, the curve didn’t change drastically under stay-at-home and social distancing orders.

According to the study, however, mask requirements led to a sharp drop in the number of cases in comparison to regions in the US that never implemented a mandatory face-covering policy.

The report stated: “By analysing the pandemic trends without face-covering using the statistical method and by projecting the trend, we calculated that over 66,000 infections were prevented by using a face mask in little over a month in New York City.

“We conclude that wearing a face mask in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission.

“This inexpensive practice, in conjunction with social distancing and other procedures, is the most likely opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On airborne transmission of the virus, the researchers noted that the pandemic spreads mainly through the air, making mask-wearing an effective and inexpensive means of preventing transmission.

“Our results clearly show that airborne transmission via respiratory aerosols represents the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19,” said study author Renyi Zhang in a statement.

The study results are similar to those of other recent studies, including one out of Hong Kong which found that wearing a surgical mask could reduce transmission of COVID-19 by as much as 75 percent.

The CDC also stated recently that transmission through the air is the main way the virus spreads; transmission via infected surfaces isn’t responsible for nearly as many cases.

Said CDC: “The primary and most important mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person.

“Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

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