New study: Face masks dramatically reduce the spread of droplets from coughing or talking

Face mask ChristmasPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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Face masks reduce the spread of droplets from a person who coughs or talks by up to 99.9%, an experiment shows. Such droplets can transfer the coronavirus.

According to a laboratory experiment in Edinburgh, a woman who stands two meters away from a coughing man without a face mask is exposed to 10,000 times more exhalation drops than a woman with a face mask.

“There is no longer any doubt that face masks can reduce the spread of potentially infectious drops,” the lead author of the study Ignazio Maria Viola told AFP.

Large exhalation droplets are believed to be the most important transmission source for COVID-19, he pointed out.

If you use a face mask, you significantly reduce the chances of the transmission of the virus. 

For the large droplets we looked at, we are talking about a reduction of 99.9%, Maria Viola said.

Experiment details

When we breathe, we send out droplets of different sizes. 

The experiment in Edinburgh looked at droplets with a diameter of 170 micrometers, about four times the thickness of a hair. 

Smaller droplets hang in the air longer. The smallest, so-called aerosols, are often carried by air currents. 

These are generally less than 20-30 micrometers and thus have a fraction of the volume of the drops Maria Viola examined.

An institute in Seattle has estimated that 55,000 lives could be saved in the United States over the next four months if a general requirement for a face mask is introduced.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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1 Comment on "New study: Face masks dramatically reduce the spread of droplets from coughing or talking"

  1. That facemasks would obstruct airborne killer coronavirus was obvious back in March, but it is good this has finally been clinically verified so decisively, so even the “experts” can now say so. (Just a week or two ago, Sweden’s “expert” Tegnell was *still* warning *against* them! Why is he still employed, if not arrested??)

    So … logically … Norway should be ENFORCING everyone facemasking in public and at their work sites, especially with the new mutation, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has said is attacking younger victims.

    This has never been rocket science.

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