Comprehensive review of mask utility and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.Infez Med. 2020 Jun 01; 28(suppl 1):57-63.IM
Masks are widely discussed during the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most hospitals have implemented universal masking for their healthcare workers, and the Center for Disease Control currently advises even the general public to wear cloth masks when outdoors. The pertinent need for masks arises from plausible dissemination of the SARS-CoV-2 through close contacts, as well as the possibility of virus transmission from asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and mildly symptomatic individuals. Given current global shortages in personal protective equipment, the efficacy of various types of masks: N95 respirators, surgical masks, and cloth masks are researched. To accommodate limited supplies, techniques for extended use, reuse, and sterilization of masks are strategized. However, masks alone may not greatly slow down the COVID-19 pandemic unless they are coupled with adequate social distancing, diligent hand hygiene, and other proven preventive measures.