Covid: masks reduce by 99.9% risks of spreading splutters, a study says

Published by Alexandre G. · Updated on 27 December 2020 at 13h41 · Published on 24 December 2020 at 13h03
A study released this Wednesday December 23 confirms masks are a crucial protection against Covid-19: 99.9% of risks of spreading infected splutters when on coughs or talks are reduced. Sprays of spit are mostly responsible of spreading the virus.

Protective facemasks are the best weapon against Covid. The day before Christmas Eve, during which the French are encouraged to wear a mask, the Royal Society Open Science magazine releases a study on the usefulness of face coverings amid the spread of the virus. Facemasks are said to reduce by 99.9% risks of spreading Covid-19.

In concrete words, these masks are especially useful to avoid any sprays of splutter, big or small, that one sprays without noticing when one talks or coughs, for instance. “It is sure facemasks can considerably reduce the spread of potentially virus-loaded splutter spread” head of the study Mario Viola told AFP.

In order to scientifically prove this allegation, scientists from the Edinburgh School of Engineering have interested in a practical case. When a woman stands two meters from a man coughing without a mask, the risks of her being exposed to potentially infected big droplets is 10,000 times more important than with a mask on.

Small and big droplets blocked

In their results, they recall that small droplets – that seem less dangerous as they are smaller – remain potentially viral: once sprayed, they are airborne and can remain in the air for a while. If the room is not aired, risks of spread are increasing. On ejects “a continuous distribution of droplets ranging from micro-scale to millimeter-scale” the scientist explains, as “some droplets fall down faster than others depending on temperature, humidity and especially the speed of airflow” she insists on.

Therefore, the World Health Organization let the world know it was necessary to systematically wear a facemask during the Holidays if the ventilation or airing system was not enough. On that matter, the scientist confirms that “cloth facemasks not only effectively block most of big droplets (from 20-30 micrometers or more), but can also block breathing out thin droplets and particles, often said to be airborne”.

Practical information

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