Face masks: what are the data say

One possible benefit of masks for source control is because can help to eliminate surface transmission, by avoiding droplets settling on surfaces which might be touched with a susceptible person. However, contact through surfaces is not regarded as the primary way SARS-CoV-2 spreads (82), as well as the likelihood of transmission through surfaces could possibly be small (83).

face mask

Our report on the literature offers evidence for widespread mask use as source control to cut back community transmission: Nonmedical masks use materials that obstruct particles in the necessary size; people are most infectious in the initial period postinfection, where fairly to have few or no symptoms (45, 46, 141); nonmedical masks happen to be effective in reducing transmission of respiratory viruses; and places and cycles where mask usage is needed or widespread demonstrate substantially lower community transmission.

Face masks include the ubiquitous symbol of the pandemic that has sickened 35 million people and killed greater than 1 million. In hospitals and also other health-care facilities, the usage of medical-grade masks clearly decreases transmission from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But for the various masks used from the public, the info are messy, disparate and frequently hastily assembled. Add to that a divisive political discourse that included a US president disparaging their use, just days before being clinically determined to have COVID-19 himself. “People exploring the evidence are understanding it differently,” says Baruch Fischhoff, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who concentrates on public policy. “It’s legitimately confusing.”

They distributed 1000s of locally produced cloth face coverings to individuals included in a randomized controlled trial that may be the world’s largest test of face mask effectiveness against the spread of COVID-19.


A total of 684 records resulted through the searches within the electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCISEARCH) and from pre-prints; eleven additional records were identified through citations. After removing duplicates and excluding irrelevant records as outlined by title, abstract and full text reading, 35 studies met our inclusion criteria to the final inclusion. Figure 1 shows the flow diagram from the study buying process.

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