Do Cloth Face Masks Work?

Coronavirus

Do cloth face masks work or is this just something that the politicians use to make us feel safe?

From the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, “In 2015, MacIntyre and her colleagues ran a clinical trial pitting cloth masks against medical ones. The team provided 1607 healthcare workers at 14 hospitals in Hanoi, Vietnam, with either disposable medical masks or reusable cloth ones, which could be washed at home at the end of the day they were worn. Those that wore cloth masks were significantly more likely to catch a virus, the team found.

But what about the rest of us? In an attempt to answer this question, Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, and his colleagues looked at 31 published studies on the efficacy of face masks.

Overall, the evidence suggests there may be a small benefit to wearing some kind of face covering. They do seem to prevent sick people from spreading the virus, but the evidence is weak and inconsistent, says Hunter.

Our view is that there was some evidence of a degree of protection, but it wasn’t great.”

Moreover from Time, “the U.S. government’s initial anti-mask messaging was so strong that the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, tweeted on Feb. 29, “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!

And from Medical Expo e-mag, “a surgical mask does not protect against “airborne” infectious agents so it will not prevent the wearer from being potentially contaminated by a virus such as the Coronavirus.

Science News for Students, “The best guard against airborne viruses are known as N95 masks. These are what hospital workers sometimes use around people who may be sick. They are different from the masks that doctors and nurses wear in surgery. With N95 masks in short supply, the medical community has been asking the public to reserve their use for hospital teams and first responders.

But people can buy or make fabric masks. If a sick person wears one of these, the mask may catch most of their germy droplets of spit or nasal mucus. That could limit the virus from getting onto surfaces that others might touch. But these masks are designed to protect people from the mask-wearer, not the other way around.

And no mask is a replacement for hand washing and social distancing.

Finally here is a quote from an article by Russell Blaylock MD that concludes the following, “It is evident from this review that there is insufficient evidence that wearing a mask of any kind can have a significant impact in preventing the spread of this virus. The fact that this virus is a relatively benign infection for the vast majority of the population and that most of the at-risk group also survive, from an infectious disease and epidemiological standpoint, by letting the virus spread through the healthier population we will reach a herd immunity level rather quickly that will end this pandemic quickly and prevent a return next winter. During this time, we need to protect the at-risk population by avoiding close contact, boosting their immunity with compounds that boost cellular immunity and in general, care for them.” I want to thank talk show host Bill Spadea of New Jersey 101.5 FM for putting up a link to this article on Linkedin.

My conclusion is that following the CDC guidelines is the only real protection against this virus. Of course I don’t agree with the CDC that a cloth face mask offers any real protection at all. The use of the N95 mask is a different matter, but don’t go out and buy one as those on the front line need them far more than you do.

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike

 

 

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