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Wear Masks To Protect Yourself From The Coronavirus, Not Only Others, CDC Stresses


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Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

When the CDC first recommended that Americans wear cloth face coverings back in April, it cited evidence that the coronavirus could be transmitted by asymptomatic people who might not be aware of their infectiousness – a group estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions. The agency said masks were intended to block virus-laden particles that might be emitted by an infected person.

In a report updated Tuesday, the CDC says that is still the primary intention of wearing masks. But it also cites growing evidence that even cloth masks can also reduce the amount of infectious droplets inhaled by the wearer.

"This messaging is key to increase adherence and interest in mask wearing. I am thrilled!" Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician with the University of California, San Francisco, said in a tweet Tuesday.

Ghandi argued in a recently published paper that wearing masks can reduce the severity of illness with COVID-19, even if the wearer does become infected.

Do Face Masks Protect The Wearer From Coronavirus? Yes, Says CDC : Shots - Health News : NPR
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COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?​

Can face masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19? Yes, face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the virus.

So why weren't face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic? At that time, experts didn't know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don't have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.

These discoveries led public health groups to do an about-face on face masks. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now include face masks in their recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public and not the surgical and N95 masks needed by health care providers.

How to wear a cloth face mask​

The CDC recommends that you wear a cloth face mask when you're around people who don't live with you and in public settings when social distancing is difficult.

Here are a few pointers for putting on and taking off a cloth mask:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on and taking off your mask.
  • Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
  • Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it's snug.
  • Don't touch your mask while wearing it.
  • If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
  • If your mask becomes wet or dirty, switch to a clean one. Put the used mask in a sealable bag until you can wash it.
  • Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
  • Regularly wash your mask with soap and water by hand or in the washing machine. It's fine to launder it with other clothes.
And, here are a few face mask precautions:

  • Don't put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help.
  • Don't put masks on children under 2 years of age.
  • Don't use face masks as a substitute for social distancing.
COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer? - Mayo Clinic


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Masks prevent people from transmitting the coronavirus to others, scientists now agree.

“There is absolutely no doubt that masks work as source control,” preventing people from infecting others, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, an advocacy group, and former director of the C.D.C..

"The main reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect me from you and the particles from your respiratory system from getting into my respiratory system.

"Everybody, this is a matter literally of life and death," he said, "so when you are out in public, please wear a mask."

On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged "the universal use of face masks" following high levels of community transmission. The recommendation includes wearing a facial covering when indoors and not at home.

It said in a statement that given around half of new infections are transmitted by those with no symptoms, "compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer."

Bill Nye Says Masks Are 'Not That Hard to Understand' in TikTok Video (msn.com)


Active member
I was a bit confused after reading the post on the net about the mask providing only minimal protection to wearer (which I have mentioned in the other thread about the vaccine).

It's really heartening to know that masks protect the wearer to a good degree.

Thanks for this information supported by the link to the brief by CDC! The CDC brief also says that protective benefits are stronger the more people wear masks correctly and consistently. This is logical since masks also provide source control according to Dr. Frieden.

It was reported in TV that in Delhi people would be fined Rs. 2000/- for not wearing mask in public. I hope they are serious about the implementation.

I see (on TV) the protest rallies regularly organized by the opposition parties. The number of protestors is generally several hundred and a very high percentage are without masks and they stand rubbing shoulders! And ironically it is to protest the inaction of the state and central governments in controlling corona!
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