A recent study has concluded that face masks are indeed helpful in containing the spread of COVID-19, settling the long-debated proposition of benefits of face masks during the Coronavirus pandemic for good.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was carried out by researchers at Texas A&M University.
Over the course of the study, researchers found that an individual not wearing a mask is at increased risk of contracting SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 infection.
Airborne transmission through respiratory aerosols has been the primary route for the spread of COVID-19.
The aerosolized droplets emitted from cough and sneeze of Coronavirus patients can reach a height of 3 meters, spread over 10 feet, and remain suspended in the air for more than 10 minutes before hitting the ground.
To ascertain how face masks curb the person to person transmission of COVID-19, the researchers evaluated the mitigation procedures in Italy, New York, and China.
The researchers found that face masks helped in preventing 78,000 cases in Italy and 66,000 cases in New York between 6 April and 9 May.
According to Renyi Zhang, one of the authors of the study, wearing a face mask is an effective way to contain the inter-human spread of COVID-19.
The inexpensive practice of wearing face masks in public, in conjunction with social distancing and other procedures, is the most likely opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
As far as China is concerned, Chinese people are accustomed to wearing face masks for years due to the deleterious air quality of the country.
Moreover, the decision of mandatory face-covering imposed by the Chinese government enabled China to successfully curb the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Zhang, the world downplayed the gravity of the disease and failed to understand the aspect of airborne transmission of the Coronavirus.
Although social distancing and good hand hygiene are imperative in containing the transmission of Coronavirus, these practices are not beneficial in the absence of face masks.
Wearing a face mask along with practicing frequent hand hygiene and social distancing will significantly reduce the chances of anyone contracting the COVID-19 disease.
Texas researchers are hoping that the study will disseminate a clear message around the world that wearing a face mask is the first line of defense in the fight against COVID-19.
Via: Health Europa