General Question

janbb's avatar

Does wearing a mask really help in preventing the spread of an infectious disease?

Asked by janbb (56179points) 1 month ago

As asked.

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21 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

Used properly, yes, in certain cases.

ragingloli's avatar

Depends on the disease and the mask.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli Well, I’m thinking right now of the coronavirus and the paper(?) masks you see ordinary people wearing in photos.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Lol. Yup, that. ^

chyna's avatar

The doctors I work for say they do not work in preventing the Coronavirus.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli How do you even find things like that with curse words? That is funny!

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filmfann's avatar

I just got on a cruise ship to Hawaii. Out of 2000 passengers, only 1 I’ve seen is wearing a mask.

kritiper's avatar

Most helpful if the wearer is coughing and sneezing.

Brian1946's avatar

I certainly does in my case. If the virus doesn’t recognize me, then I should be able to ekscape unnoticed! ;-D

Sagacious's avatar

Yes. Even if it’s just a surgical mask which is not made to filter most airborne viruses, wearing the mask will keep you from touching your mouth and/or nose….basically keeping you aware to keep hands away from face. It also may help avoid droplets from sneezes and coughing. So, wearing one during an epidemic is smart. An N95 is better.

JLeslie's avatar

The typical one you find in a store won’t do much in filtering out the pathogens, you would need a higher quality mask, but as the jelly above me mentions, it might keep you from unconsciously touching your face. The masks might very well help with breathing in pollution though. Many of those particles are rather large.

If you are planning on flying long distance I do recommend a mask while sleeping though (some airlines give you one, Japan Air did when I flew them) because it keeps your nose and throat moist and it’s more comfortable, unless you find the mask itself uncomfortable.

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JLeslie's avatar

I’m at the VA clinic and there are masks readily available for people who are sick. They aren’t a simple paper mask, they must be the better ones that have more protection.

I remember when a friend of mine who lived in Japan said the people wearing masks are often the sick ones, a cultural expectation to protect others.

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Sagacious's avatar

@JLeslie When you are sick is when a mask is most helpful.

JLeslie's avatar

^^That’s what I wrote. The sick people wear the masks.

Honestly, my guess is that that’s the best way to have enough masks. There are much fewer sick people than non-sick people.

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