Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending members of the public mask themselves last spring, additional research has supported the use of face masks to fight the coronavirus. Although knowledge gaps persist, experts agree that masks should be used – and increasingly, they insist on using better masks.
During our last deep dive into mask research in April 2020, we explained that some lab studies supported the idea that masks would be effective against the coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2. But direct evidence that face masks prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses in a community was limited.
In some ways, this takeout hasn’t changed much. Benjamin cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, told us that “there is good mechanistic evidence from laboratory studies that masks should have an effect on transmission” and that “the evidence from randomized trials are not consistent with a strong effect of masks on transmission, but was consistent with a slight effect of masks on transmission. “
“I still believe that using a mask will reduce transmission, although using a mask alone is not…
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