APR 29, 2018 11:44 PM PDT

Do Surgical Masks Really Protect You From The Flu?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Surgical masks may not actually protect you from the flu, but they can stop you from infecting other people if you do actually have the flu. One study published in the American Journal of Infection Control used samples of a harmless virus to test how effective the surgical mask is at protection from airborne pathogens. The study found that 20-85% of the stimulated virus actually penetrated the surgical mask in comparison to only 5% of another type of mask, a respirator. In another study, from the journal of PLOS Pathogens, investigators collected samples of exhaled particles from about 40 flu patients with and without the surgical mask. The results showed that a wearing a surgical mask significantly reduced the amount of aerosolized virus into the air. This proves that the main function of a surgical mask is not to protect the individual wearing it from catching any viruses, but to protect everyone else from inhaling the virus exhaled from the individual wearing the surgical mask.
About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 22, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 22, 2019
The WHO Reemphasizes The Importance Of Nutrition
Nutrition lies at the foundation of good health. Without adequate nutrients, people are at substantially elevated risk for developing health problems. The...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
Imagine a World Without Insects...
People tend to dislike insects, especially ant, beetle, cockroach, and mosquito varieties, but before suggesting that a world without insects would be a wo...
NOV 22, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2019
Catastrophic Ancient Events Might Have Forever Changed Life-friendly Venus
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that Venus had a long history of being a habitable planet due to its abundance of water, plate tectonics, and amicab...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
It's True, Elephants Are Highly Intelligent Animals
If you’re ever asked what the world’s smartest animal is, then the humble elephant should certainly come to mind. These incredible beasts have...
NOV 22, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 22, 2019
The Amazon is Still Burning
Although other crises may be dominating international news headlines, the Amazon rainforest is still burning. The Wall Street Journal stated that more than...
NOV 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 22, 2019
Can We Terraform Mars?
Space agencies and commercial space companies are taking the idea of colonizing Mars very seriously. There’s just one problem: the red planet isn&rsq...
Loading Comments...