Which homemade masks are most effective?

ISLAMABAD, July 14 (online): A new study investigates how effective face masks of different designs are at inhibiting the transfer of airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes.

Due to the scarcity and cost of medical-grade face masks, many people are using homemade masks to avoid spreading or contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

There has been relatively little official guidance about which mask designs provide the strongest barriers to infection, leading amateur mask-makers to improvise.

 A new study has used laser visualization experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of homemade masks of various designs.

These masks are roughly as good at preventing the spread of infection as commercially produced cone-shaped masks.

“While there are a few prior studies on the effectiveness of medical-grade equipment, we don’t have a lot of information about the cloth-based coverings that are most accessible to us at present.”

The researchers used a laser sheet setup, which is commonly employed to study liquid mechanics, to observe the behavior of airborne respiratory droplets that could, outside the lab, contain SARS-CoV-2.

As these droplets were “coughed” and “sneezed” from the head of a mannequin, the researchers mapped their trajectory.

“The main challenge is to represent a cough and sneeze faithfully.

it is “important to understand that face coverings are not 100% effective in blocking respiratory pathogens.”

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