Masks may protect the wearer from the coronavirus more than originally thought, new research suggests
A face mask may give the wearer more protection from the coronavirus than previously thought, according to a new study commissioned by the World Health Organization.
The updated study alters health experts’ previously held beliefs that a mask helped protect others from the virus more than the person wearing the mask.
“In view of inconsistent guidelines by various organizations based on limited information, our findings provide some clarification and have implications for multiple stakeholders,” the study’s authors wrote. “The risk for infection is highly dependent on distance to the individual infected and the type of face mask and eye protection worn.”
The World Health Organization’s meta-analysis looked at about 200 COVID-19 studies in 16 countries, involving more than 25,000 patients. This analysis was written by an international team led by McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and published June 1 in the medical journal The Lancet.
The use of face masks — including N95 respirators and surgical masks — and face shields protect people against infection and also led to a “much lower risk of infection,” the study said.
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