Masks Work: A new study out of Hong Kong shows that wearing masks reduces the spread of COVID-19 by up to 75 percent.
Sky News reports:
Wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the chances of those with COVID-19 infecting others, researchers have claimed.
According to a study by a team in Hong Kong, the rate at which the virus was transmitted through airborne particles or respiratory droplets was lowered by as much as 75% when masks were used.
As the debate over the effectiveness of wearing masks during a pandemic continues, a new study gives weight to arguments by medical professionals and government leaders that wearing a mask does indeed reduce virus transmission — and dramatically so.
Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus’ transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used.
The study used hamsters to show that masks are effective in preventing COVID-19 transmission.
Commenting on the new study released by the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus in 2003, said:
The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge.
In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans – especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones – put on masks, they actually protect other people.
Dr. Joseph Vinetz, a professor in the infectious disease section at Yale School of Medicine, explains how wearing a face mask works:
The idea about the face mask is to prevent the virus from coming out of somebody’s mouth and nose, mostly out of their mouth. They prevent somebody, when they talk or sometimes when they sneeze or cough, from expelling virus and leading to infection in other people.
Yet despite the overwhelming scientific consensus about wearing masks, many conservatives and other uneducated individuals refuse to accept the science, and refuse to wear a face mask when appropriate.
Indeed, face masks are becoming a political symbol for some, with many conservatives rejecting the mask while embracing an anti-science, anti-intellectual attitude.
The La Crosse Tribune reports:
Recent surveys have highlighted the partisanship associated with mask-wearing, showing 75% of Democrats report wearing them in public, while only 53% of Republicans take the precaution.
Yet despite the partisan rhetoric, the science is clear: Wearing a face mask significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19.
Bottom line: A new study out of Hong Kong shows that wearing masks reduces the spread of COVID-19 by up to 75 percent.