Wearing masks has become the new normal of the day, across the nations now. There is no doubt about protective powers of masks. Now one more study has reaffirmed that wearing masks can reduce airborne transmission of the coronavirus.
The study was done by researchers at the University of California San Diego and the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. They found that wearing masks is essential to combat the asymptomatic spread of aerosols and droplets.
The study assumes significance as asymptomatic carriers make up the bulk of those who transmit the virus. It was found that SARS-CoV-2 can be spread by asymptomatic people via aerosols.
The researchers said that a large proportion of the virus spread appears to be happening through the airborne transmission of aerosols or airborne particles produced by asymptomatic carriers during speaking and breathing.
When dispersed in the air, aerosols can accumulate and remain infectious in indoor air for hours. The particles are so small that they are easily inhaled into the lungs. Some droplets, because of their size, may contaminate surfaces and lead to contact transmission. Smaller droplets will evaporate faster than they settle and can stay in the air.
Properly fitted masks provide an effective physical barrier to reduce the number of viruses in the exhaled breath of asymptomatic carriers or the “silent shedders.”
“Infectious aerosol particles can be released during breathing and speaking by asymptomatic infected individuals. No masking maximizes exposure, whereas universal masking results in the least exposure,” the researchers explained.