The Science How Masks Prevent Virus

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In the current coronavirus epidemic, masks serve as a good barrier. At the same time, masks can slow down the gas or water mist we exhale. But how effective are they, and what is the scientific basis behind them?

Let's start with a very simple experiment. When we exhale in cold weather, we will see our exhaled gas. These gases come from our body and mainly include nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. When these exhaled gases are in contact with the air environment, they will quickly cool to below a certain critical value (dew point), and they will transform from a gaseous state to liquid tiny water droplets, that is, the mist we see. At the same time, virus particles will spread to other people through these tiny water droplets. This is vital to our understanding of the spread of the virus.

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Of course, the risk of contracting a virus often depends on a person's total exposure: that is, the number of virus particles that a person is exposed to in a period of time. It is not completely impossible for a virus particle to enter the human body to cause a virus infection. This is why physical distance, outdoor activities, washing hands, and not touching one's face (especially eyes, nose, mouth and ears) are such effective interventions.

The whole purpose of wearing a mask is to reduce the viral load you may infect or receive from others. The leading scientific theory is that the fluid produced when we cough, sneeze, sing, talk, etc. is the most important way for this new type of coronavirus to spread from person to person, and the physical distance between each other is increased by 1 meter. , It will significantly reduce the infection rate. That is, reducing exposure to viral particles is the science behind wearing masks to prevent viral infections.

Because we cannot directly know who is infected with the virus and who is at risk of transmission. Therefore, whenever you come into contact with others, wearing a mask is a highly recommended public health measure. The use of disposable medical surgical masks can block about 95% of potentially infectious particles and droplets, which can achieve effective protection and provide us with adequate respiratory protection.

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