Health Care

Face masks ineffective in COVID spread; Danish study challenges World Health Organization guidelines

Face masks ineffective in COVID spread; Danish study challenges World Health Organization guidelines”

So, if everyone wears a mask when social distancing is not feasible, the infection rate will be cut, experts say.

'The results could indicate a more moderate degree of protection of 15 to 20 [percent], however, the study could not rule out that face masks do not provide any protection'. But the findings conflict with those from a number of other studies, experts said, and is not likely to alter public health recommendations in the United States.

There were around 4,860 participants who completed the study.

There is no doubt that the incoming Biden-Harris administration will take a much stronger stance in proposing people wear masks to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

The findings did not dispute that masks prevented transmission of the virus to others; however, the researcher's conclusions found that there was not a significant statistical difference of infections between mask wearers and non-mask wearers in the large, randomized clinical trial.

As such, the study can not be used to draw conclusions on the general merits of using face masks as an effective preventative measure against Covid-19 infection, the researchers admitted.

Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital divided the participants into two groups; the masked and the unmasked, all of whom were asked to spend at least three hours per day outside their home. Roughly 40 states have implemented mask requirements of some sort, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. The results, the scientists said, showed "no statistically significant difference".

Results showed that, after one month, 1.8 percent of the people wearing masks had been infected with the virus.

More news: UK Mom gives birth to twins while in COVID coma

A study done in Denmark, published Wednesday in Annals of Internal Medicine, seemed to question whether and to what extent masks protect the wearer.

But since the coronavirus first appeared, authorities have gained a better understanding of how it spreads and how masks can help stop that spread.

Further complicating the matter, studies which support the use of masks have been "observational", focusing on those who already wear masks but without contrasting outcomes against a randomized control group of non-mask wearers. "A cloth mask is better than nothing".

In that way, she says, masks are still a really important tool for community protection.

"When we can't stay six feet away from others, please, I'm begging you, wear a face covering", Adams says in the videotaped July 2 tweet.

Dr. Elizabeth Halloran, a statistician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the usefulness of masks also depends on how much virus a person is exposed to.

The editorial said the study specifically examined the effect of recommending mask use and not the effect of actually wearing them, adding, "Adherence to public health recommendations is always imperfect, as it was in this study, and can differ dramatically in communities with different attitudes toward such recommendations". Unlike other studies that analyzed the effectiveness of face masks, this research conducted by experts from Denmark was a randomized controlled trial which means it is high-quality scientific evidence.



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