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Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population.
PLoS One. 2008 Jul 09; 3(7):e2618.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Governments are preparing for a potential influenza pandemic. Therefore they need data to assess the possible impact of interventions. Face-masks worn by the general population could be an accessible and affordable intervention, if effective when worn under routine circumstances.

METHODOLOGY

We assessed transmission reduction potential provided by personal respirators, surgical masks and home-made masks when worn during a variety of activities by healthy volunteers and a simulated patient.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

All types of masks reduced aerosol exposure, relatively stable over time, unaffected by duration of wear or type of activity, but with a high degree of individual variation. Personal respirators were more efficient than surgical masks, which were more efficient than home-made masks. Regardless of mask type, children were less well protected. Outward protection (mask wearing by a mechanical head) was less effective than inward protection (mask wearing by healthy volunteers).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE

Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection. Masks worn by patients may not offer as great a degree of protection against aerosol transmission.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands. marianne.van.der.sande@rivm.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18612429

Citation

van der Sande, Marianne, et al. "Professional and Home-made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections Among the General Population." PloS One, vol. 3, no. 7, 2008, pp. e2618.
van der Sande M, Teunis P, Sabel R. Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population. PLoS One. 2008;3(7):e2618.
van der Sande, M., Teunis, P., & Sabel, R. (2008). Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population. PloS One, 3(7), e2618. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002618
van der Sande M, Teunis P, Sabel R. Professional and Home-made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections Among the General Population. PLoS One. 2008 Jul 9;3(7):e2618. PubMed PMID: 18612429.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population. AU - van der Sande,Marianne, AU - Teunis,Peter, AU - Sabel,Rob, Y1 - 2008/07/09/ PY - 2008/01/25/received PY - 2008/05/20/accepted PY - 2008/7/10/pubmed PY - 2008/10/22/medline PY - 2008/7/10/entrez SP - e2618 EP - e2618 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 3 IS - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND: Governments are preparing for a potential influenza pandemic. Therefore they need data to assess the possible impact of interventions. Face-masks worn by the general population could be an accessible and affordable intervention, if effective when worn under routine circumstances. METHODOLOGY: We assessed transmission reduction potential provided by personal respirators, surgical masks and home-made masks when worn during a variety of activities by healthy volunteers and a simulated patient. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: All types of masks reduced aerosol exposure, relatively stable over time, unaffected by duration of wear or type of activity, but with a high degree of individual variation. Personal respirators were more efficient than surgical masks, which were more efficient than home-made masks. Regardless of mask type, children were less well protected. Outward protection (mask wearing by a mechanical head) was less effective than inward protection (mask wearing by healthy volunteers). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection. Masks worn by patients may not offer as great a degree of protection against aerosol transmission. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18612429/full_citation L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002618 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -