Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsInfectious Diseases · 1 month ago

Is wearing surgical masks in public actually effective at curbing disease?

6 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Surgical masks significantly reduce the amount of viruses launched into the air by infected people because the masks are capable of capturing nearly all water droplets in  a sneeze or cough.  

    The masks doesn't do much at all to protect uninfected people.  Cold and flu viruses are small enough to become suspended in the air and pass through a surgical mask and through gaps where the mask does not fit tightly.  Also, the masks don't help at all with hand to mouth/eyes/nose transmission, which is the most common pathway for many infections.  People have to remove their masks to eat and drink, and  dirty hands are usually the biggest threat.

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  • 1 month ago

    Not really, no.

    Almost all the illnesses people are worried about are spread by contact, not inhalation of droplets. The classic is that someone sneezes on an object or on their hand that then touches an object and the next person contracts the illness by touching the same object and then their eyes, mouth, nose, or food.

    The VERY BEST way to prevent infection is washing your hands. Short of being in a small confined space with someone who is coughing and sneezing or someone coughing or sneezing directly on your face, masks provide almost no protection.

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  • 1 month ago

    Not 100% although it does help quite a bit.

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  • No, but it makes huge profits for surgical mask manufacturers.

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  • 1 month ago

    Not necessarily, no, but it's helpful. A person still needs to wash their hands well before touching their face or eyes, etc

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  • Mark
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    To a degree.  People with respiratory diseases can't inadvertently "launch" saliva at you - it gets stopped by the mask.

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