Are Cloth Masks Really That Effective Against COVID-19?
| Rick Magennis
In the current pandemic conditions, many of us are looking for ways to protect ourselves. It is impossible to stay at home and avoid contact with others for a prolonged period. After all, we all need groceries and other essentials, even if we are quarantining at home. Many people have resorted to using surgical cotton masks or even homemade cloth masks, but are they actually providing any protection against COVID 19? Research suggests not, but we’ll delve into this subject a little more now, so you can make an informed decision for your own protection.
In a recent opinion piece, Lisa Brosseau, ScD explored the effectiveness of cloth and surgical masks. Brousseau is a recognized infectious disease expert and former lecturer at the University of Illinois. In the piece, Brousseau argued that cloth masks offer no protection against COVID 19.
Brosseau began the piece as an exploration for the healthcare and community, expanding into whether this type of mask works as personal protective equipment. In her opinion, cloth masks do not work in any form as they are only adequate protection against very large particles.
Brosseau is also skeptical about surgical masks that many people have resorted to using when they leave the house. However, based on literature, Brosseau concluded that surgical masks might have a role for source control in symptomatic people, but they should not be worn if you’re going out in public since you shouldn’t be going out if you’re symptomatic.
This opinion is supported by a research letter published by investigators with Seoul’s Ulsan College of Medicine in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The research letter compared surgical masks and cloth masks against a control group with no mask at all.
Patients were asked to cough into a petri dish five times each while wearing no mask, a cotton mask, a surgical mask, and again with no mask. The study, which was conducted at two hospitals in Seoul, South Korea, found that when either type of mask was worn, SARS CoV2 droplets were still released into the environment.
So, What’s the Solution?
Since it is inevitable that you will need to leave your home at some point, what’s the solution to limit your exposure and protect yourself and your family? Many experts agree that a KN95 filter mask is the only viable option. This type of mask can filter 95% of air particles, including viruses and germs.
KN95 masks can be worn comfortably and will filter out bacteria, dust, particles, pollen, smoke, and chemicals. It offers coverage for the mouth, nose, and chin and is constructed from layers of material to offer broad-spectrum filtration. The spacious mouth area has been designed to make breathing easier and protect your respiratory health without compromising on filtration.
If you would like to learn more about KN95 masks, be sure to speak to us. We would be delighted to answer any of your questions and queries to help you feel confident that you are protected against COVID 19.