Mask can significantly reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. And wearing two well fitted masks is much more effective against coronavirus infection. The important thing is “good fit” here. The new study found that wearing two ill fitting cloth masks is not that effective in protecting from infection as one comfortable fit surgical mask.
Wearing two lose fitted masks will not give an effective filtration benefit that one fitted surgical mask will provide, say studies. This new finding is after the recent update of the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends a double mask against deadly coronavirus infection.
Double mask improves efficacy by 20 %
During the lab test, the researchers assessed the filtered filtration efficiency (FFE) of a range of masks. They found that filtration efficiency differs for each person as per their individual’s face shape and how fit their mask are. Without any alterations, a surgical mask is 40-60% effective in preventing COVID19 particles out, while a cloth mask is only 40% effective in protection, the study found.
A cloth mask applied over a surgical mask improves the efficacy of keeping virus particles away by 20%. Protection was even improved when layering was done by a comfortably fitted mask. Applying cloth mask over surgical mask removes the gap and keeps surgical mask close to the face, covering face and mouth, researchers found.
When the surgical mask is layered over by cloth mask, FFE improves by 16% as per the findings. Wearing a mask is very effective in preventing the spread of COVID19. Double masking is seen as more useful when two persons are interacting with each other wearing a fitted mask.
Proper use of mask
A cloth mask can be used again if it gets dirty after proper washing with soap or detergent. Dry the mask completely in sunlight for the best results. Remove your mask correctly and wash your hands after touching a used mask. Keep it in a dry breathable bag to reuse later. While reusing it again, keep the same side facing out. A surgical mask is not designed to be used more than once. Ideally, you should dispose off a mask after wearing it. You have to wear a fit mask in such a way that it fully covers your mouth and nose.