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Home / Health / Duke University mask research: Some masks may worse than not having a mask in slowing the spread of COVID 19

Duke University mask research: Some masks may worse than not having a mask in slowing the spread of COVID 19



DURHAM, NC – We all know by now that an N-95 mask is better than a surgical mask than a fabric mask than a scarf or a scarf.

But are they all better?

Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University said: “Like the common feeling of just holding your hand in front of your face, we really think any mask is better than nothing.”

SEE ALSO: Duke research demonstrates the mask suppresses respiratory drops

Westman, who specializes in internal medicine, doesn’t have to deal with a COVID-19 patient, but he still wants to do something that could help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

He realized that while they had a lot of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE at Duke Health, there were other frontline personnel like bus drivers who didn̵

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He soon believed that the mask would help prevent the spread.

He’s raised tens of thousands of dollars in an online fundraiser to buy masks for those frontline employees, but he’s not sure what kind of mask will work best for his money. me.

He doesn’t necessarily need the best N-95 masks for normal use, but whatever he buys, he wants them to be as effective as possible.

Westman knows that researchers have found that coughing and sneezing release respiratory droplets into the air.

“But what do you say?” he asks.

VIEW: All masks are not created equal and bandannas are the worst in the group.

He was particularly interested in the answer to that question because at that time researchers were just beginning to realize that the virus was contagious because it could be spread by people who didn’t have symptoms yet.

“So you can’t get sick and you can spread the virus through these seeds just by talking,” says Westman.

So he asked Duke University physics professor Martin Fischer to experiment with some types of masks.

Fischer created a simple cardboard box with an opening so that a person wearing a mask could talk.

He attached a green laser light to the box to illuminate the droplets and a cell phone camera to video the experiments, so that they could count the drops each mask allowed to pass through.

Not only did he find out that speaking actually produces a lot of water drops, but the material used in some masks, especially the scarves and scarves they tested, was so thin that it really makes sense. the introduction of more respirable particles into the air than in the initial test without a mask at all.

“We ascribe this to the wool, the textile fiber, which breaks those large particles into many small grains,” Fischer said. “They tend to stay in the air longer. They fly more easily in the air. So this can really backfire when wearing such a mask. So not field. Any combination is better. “

Fischer said his experiment was just a demonstration.

He and Dr. Westman hope to have more research to follow.

“This is actually a preliminary investigation of something more scientific surrounding it with other types of particle-like measurement methods. We hope to stimulate other studies on the matter. This deals with and removes the idea that something is better than nothing. It could be said by Westman.

Westman says he still has a lot of options for effective masks to supply frontline workers. In the end, he used the money he raised to buy masks that weren’t made of porous materials.

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