Masks alone can’t prevent spread of COVID-19, important physical distance: study

“Masks and physical ailments are both important,” said Krishna Kota (representative)


If you don’t maintain a physical condition, just wearing a face mask may not protect you from catching new coronaviruses, a study says.

This research, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, revealed how five different types of mask ingredients affect the droplets that spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus when we cough or sneeze.

All the materials the researchers tested had significantly reduced the number of drops transmitted.

However, enough drops for a possible cause of viral illness still passed through several materials when the physical distance was less than six feet, he said.

“A mask certainly helps, but if people are too close to each other there is always a risk that the virus will spread or contract,” said Krishna Kota, associate professor at New Mexico State University in the United States. United.

“It’s not just the masks that will help. It’s both the masks and the distance, ”Kota said.

Researchers have developed a machine that uses an air generator to mimic human coughing and sneezing.

The generator was used to blow small liquid particles, such as splashes and aerial cough drops, through a laser sheet into a sealed square tube with a camera.

They blocked the flow of droplets with five different types of material in the tube – a regular cloth, a two-layer cloth mask, a two-layer wet cloth, a surgical mask, and a medical grade N-95 ventilator. .

Each mask captured most of the droplets from a regular cloth mask, allowing about 3.6 percent of the drops to the N-95 mask, which statistically prevented 100 percent of the drops.

Researchers said that at a distance of less than six feet, even the percentage of small drops can be enough to make someone sick, especially if someone with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs multiple times. .

According to the researchers, a single sneeze can carry 200 million small viral particles, depending on the disease of the carrier.

He mentioned that although a mask blocks a large percentage of these particles, a person can survive long enough to get sick if that person is close to the wearer.

“Without a face mask, it is almost certain that many foreign drops will be transferred to the sensitive person,” Mr. Kota said.

“Wearing a mask will provide enough, but reducing the number of sneezes and airborne cough drops will not provide complete protection for a sensitive person who would otherwise fit into a person without a mask” , did he declare.

Mr Kota said people should try to reduce or avoid human face-to-face or face-to-face interactions.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a feed.)

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