A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined the effectiveness of cotton and surgical masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Four COVID-19 patients from South Korea were asked to cough into a petri dish while wearing reusable cotton and disposable surgical masks.
The specimens from the inner and outer surfaces of the masks were collected via an aseptic swab to determine the median viral load of the nasopharyngeal sample.
The findings reveal that the median viral load of patients was 1.85 log copies/mL with a cotton mask, 2.42 log copies/mL with a surgical mask and 2.56 log copies/mL without a mask.
A co-author of this study said that more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of cotton and surgical masks in preventing the spread of the virus when used in routine activities such as talking.
He also said that the N95 respirator masks or their equivalent may have the strongest protective effect against SARS-Cov-2.
3 KEY POINTS
“We are not sure as to whether the masks shortened the distance of viral particle transmission,” says Sung-Han Kim, co-author of the study and Asan Medical Center’s chief of the office for infection control.
Article source: https://www.healio.com/primary-care/practice-management/news/online/%7B10c2a1dc-3f55-401d-bf11-5246153357ff%7D/small-study-questions-efficacy-of-cotton-surgical-masks-at-stopping-spread-of-sars-cov-2
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