Medical Study: "higher infection risk posed by cloth masks"
Date: April 22, 2015
Source: University of New South Wales
Respiratory infection is much higher among healthcare workers wearing cloth masks compared to medical masks, research shows. Cloth masks should not be used by workers in any healthcare setting, authors of the new study say.
"The widespread use of cloth masks by healthcare workers may actually put them at increased risk of respiratory illness and viral infections and their global use should be discouraged, according to a UNSW study.
"...The study found respiratory infection was much higher among healthcare workers wearing cloth masks... The penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% compared to medical masks with 44%
"Effective controls of outbreaks and pandemics at the origin impacts us directly, so it is important for global disease control that the use of cloth masks be discouraged in high-risk situations," said Professor Raina MacIntyre, lead study author and head of UNSW's School of Public Health and Community Medicine
"Despite more than half the world using cloth masks, global disease control guidelines, including those from the World Health Organisation, fail to clearly specify conditions of their use.
"These guidelines need to be updated to reflect the higher infection risk posed by cloth masks, as found in our study."
"...The trial was a collaboration between researchers in Australia and the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Vietnam and was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant."