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Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Science. 2021 May 20 [Online ahead of print]Sci

Abstract

Airborne transmission by droplets and aerosols is important for the spread of viruses. Face masks are a well-established preventive measure, but their effectiveness for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission is still under debate. We show that variations in mask efficacy can be explained by different regimes of virus abundance and related to population-average infection probability and reproduction number. For SARS-CoV-2, the viral load of infectious individuals can vary by orders of magnitude. We find that most environments and contacts are under conditions of low virus abundance (virus-limited) where surgical masks are effective at preventing virus spread. More advanced masks and other protective equipment are required in potentially virus-rich indoor environments including medical centers and hospitals. Masks are particularly effective in combination with other preventive measures like ventilation and distancing.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany. h.su@mpic.de yafang.cheng@mpic.de.Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou 511443, China.Department of Outpatient Pneumology and Institute of Physiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, 10117 Berlin, Germany.University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany.University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany.Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. Department of Geology and Geophysics, King Saud University, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany.State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Formation and Prevention of Urban Air Pollution Complex, Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shanghai 200233, China. h.su@mpic.de yafang.cheng@mpic.de. Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

34016743

Citation

Cheng, Yafang, et al. "Face Masks Effectively Limit the Probability of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission." Science (New York, N.Y.), 2021.
Cheng Y, Ma N, Witt C, et al. Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Science. 2021.
Cheng, Y., Ma, N., Witt, C., Rapp, S., Wild, P. S., Andreae, M. O., Pöschl, U., & Su, H. (2021). Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Science (New York, N.Y.). https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg6296
Cheng Y, et al. Face Masks Effectively Limit the Probability of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission. Science. 2021 May 20; PubMed PMID: 34016743.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. AU - Cheng,Yafang, AU - Ma,Nan, AU - Witt,Christian, AU - Rapp,Steffen, AU - Wild,Philipp S, AU - Andreae,Meinrat O, AU - Pöschl,Ulrich, AU - Su,Hang, Y1 - 2021/05/20/ PY - 2021/01/18/received PY - 2021/05/17/accepted PY - 2021/5/22/pubmed PY - 2021/5/22/medline PY - 2021/5/21/entrez JF - Science (New York, N.Y.) JO - Science N2 - Airborne transmission by droplets and aerosols is important for the spread of viruses. Face masks are a well-established preventive measure, but their effectiveness for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission is still under debate. We show that variations in mask efficacy can be explained by different regimes of virus abundance and related to population-average infection probability and reproduction number. For SARS-CoV-2, the viral load of infectious individuals can vary by orders of magnitude. We find that most environments and contacts are under conditions of low virus abundance (virus-limited) where surgical masks are effective at preventing virus spread. More advanced masks and other protective equipment are required in potentially virus-rich indoor environments including medical centers and hospitals. Masks are particularly effective in combination with other preventive measures like ventilation and distancing. SN - 1095-9203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/34016743/Face_masks_effectively_limit_the_probability_of_SARS-CoV-2_transmission. L2 - https:///www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg6296?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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