New research on mask use: Reduces coronavirus cases by 53%

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A new study, conducted by an international team of scientists from China, Australia and the United Kingdom, compared comparative data from COVID-19 prophylaxis studies. Her results were recently published in the prestigious international scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The Doctors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Stavroula Paschou (Assistant Professor of Endocrinology), Theodora Psaltopoulou (Professor of Therapeutic-Preventive Medicine) and Thanos Dimopoulos-Professor of EKPA its research.

Specifically, a total of 72 studies were included. Most focused on the following measures: 1) use a mask, 2) keep a natural distance, and 3) wash your hands. It has been found that using a mask can reduce new cases of COVID-19 by as much as 53%. In addition, it reduces coronavirus transmission, serious illness and deaths from COVID-19. Interestingly, larger reductions were observed mainly in studies where the use of a mask was mandatory, but also when scientists had systematically informed the world about the value of its use.

Among the studies that looked at the results of physical distance, the researchers observed a 25% reduction in infection, while some found a reduction in COVID-19 mortality. Interventions involving hand washing have also led to a significant reduction in COVID-19 cases (up to 53%), although the number of relevant studies is small and the methodology for observing this measure contains potential errors. In any case, frequent hand washing is a basic principle of human hygiene in general.

Individual studies included in the survey showed reductions related to other public health measures, such as quarantine, border closures, school closures, business closures, and travel restrictions. However, the research team was unable to quantify the overall effectiveness of these measures, due to the different ways in which the individual studies were conducted.

In conclusion, this research has shown that further control of the COVID-19 pandemic depends not only on the high vaccination coverage of the population, which is certainly necessary, but also on the continued adherence to effective and sustainable public health measures. The use of a mask and keeping a distance seems to be more important.

The latter is in line with another recent study by the University of Seoul in South Korea and the University of Hong Kong, which showed that during rush hour the number of people exposed to the coronavirus fell by 64.4% with the observance of distances without mask, by 93.5% with the obligatory use of mask without distances and by 98.1% with obligatory use of mask and observance of distances.

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