American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Countries with Early Adoption of Face Masks Showed Modest COVID-19 Infection Rates

Newswise — June 24, 2020 – Regions with an early interest in face masks had milder COVID-19 epidemics, according to a new letter-to-the-editor published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In “COVID-19 and Public Interest in Face Mask Use,” researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong shared findings from their analysis of how public interest in face masks may have affected the severity of COVID-19 epidemics and potentially contained the outbreak in 42 countries in 6 continents.

The authors noted that “In many Asian countries like China and Japan, the use of face masks in this pandemic is ubiquitous and is considered as a hygiene etiquette, whereas in many western countries, its use in the public is less common.”

There was a clear negative correlation between the awareness or general acceptance of wearing a face mask and its infection rates. “One classic example is seen in Hong Kong,” said Sunny Wong, MD, associate professor, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“Despite [Hong Kong’s] proximity to mainland China, its infection rate of COVID-19 is generally modest with only 1,110 cases to-date. This correlates with an almost ubiquitous use of face masks in the city (up to 98.8 percent by respondents in a survey). Similar patterns are seen in other Asian areas, such as Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia. To date, there are more than two million cases in the U.S. and more than one million cases in Brazil.

While, the authors acknowledge that face masks are seen as important in slowing the rise of COVID-19 infections, it is difficult to assess whether it is more effective than handwashing or social distancing alone.

As cities in the U.S. and elsewhere put re-opening plans into effect, Dr. Wong said the use of face masks should be encouraged: “Face masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and have a relatively low cost compared to the health resources and death toll associated with the pandemic”.

He added, “We believe that face mask use, handwashing and social distancing are all important components of the non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19.”

 

Contact for Media:

Professor David Hui [email protected]

Dr. Sunny Wong [email protected]

 

Share via Twitter:

Countries with early awareness of #facemasks showed modest #COVID-19 infection rates. @atscommunity @ATSBlueEditor @CUHKMedicine @sunnyheiwong @jteoh_hk @drwong_martin

 

About the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

The AJRCCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society. The Journal takes pride in publishing the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. With an impact factor of 16.494, it is one of the highest ranked journals in pulmonology. Editor: Jadwiga Wedzicha, MD, professor of respiratory medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute (Royal Brompton Campus), Imperial College London, UK.

 

About the American Thoracic Society

Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society’s 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes four journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, and ATS Scholar

 

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 6120
Newswise: FAU Expert Answers Questions about Delta Variant, Vaccines and Public Safety
Released: 4-Aug-2021 12:35 PM EDT
FAU Expert Answers Questions about Delta Variant, Vaccines and Public Safety
Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University’s Joanna Drowos, D.O., M.P.H., M.B.A., Schmidt College of Medicine, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 Delta variant, vaccines and public safety measures.

Released: 4-Aug-2021 11:15 AM EDT
Rehabilitation Nurses Play Critical Role in Treating Patients with Long-Term Covid-19 Symptoms
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

A new and free webinar from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) features advice from rehabilitation nurses to the greater nursing community about care priorities and interventions for long haul COVID-19 patients.

Newswise:Video Embedded spreading-doses-of-hope-as-covid-19-cases-rise
VIDEO
Released: 4-Aug-2021 10:35 AM EDT
Spreading ‘Doses of Hope’ as COVID-19 Cases Rise
Cedars-Sinai

In an emotional new series of videos, Black medical professionals plead for viewers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Newswise:Video Embedded american-college-of-surgeons-urges-surgeons-to-talk-it-up-with-patients-about-covid-19-vaccination
VIDEO
Released: 4-Aug-2021 10:00 AM EDT
American College of Surgeons Urges Surgeons to “Talk It Up” with Patients About COVID-19 Vaccination
American College of Surgeons (ACS)

ACS is launching a “Talk It Up” campaign to help surgeons address patient concerns and help them understand the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

28-Jul-2021 11:15 AM EDT
LEDs Light the Way to Coronavirus Disinfection
American Institute of Physics (AIP)

LEDs are commonly used for sterilization, and in the continued effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, LEDs can also help inactivate SARS-CoV-2. A team in Pakistan designed far-ultraviolet LEDs at a targeted wavelength of 222 nanometers, chosen both for its ability to inactivate the virus and for being safe on human skin. They based their design on the material aluminum gallium nitride, part of a set of materials called III-nitrides which are efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly.

Newswise: Text-Message ‘Nudges’ Can Encourage Holdouts to Get COVID Vaccination, Study Finds
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:50 AM EDT
Text-Message ‘Nudges’ Can Encourage Holdouts to Get COVID Vaccination, Study Finds
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

New UCLA-led research indicates that simple text messages emphasizing the easy availability of COVID-19 vaccines successfully boosted the number of people who got the shot.

Newswise: The Future of Masking Post-Vaccination
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:45 AM EDT
The Future of Masking Post-Vaccination
Rush University Medical Center

The COVID-19 vaccine is your best defense against the virus, but when and where should you continue to wear a mask? Rush infectious disease expert Michael Lin, MD, answers questions about wearing a mask post-vaccination.

Newswise: COVID-19 Infection Rate Low Among Rural Health Care Workers
Released: 4-Aug-2021 8:40 AM EDT
COVID-19 Infection Rate Low Among Rural Health Care Workers
South Dakota State University

Antibody testing of health care workers in three rural counties in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota showed 15% had antibodies to the novel coronavirus.

Newswise: New Study Details Enzyme That Allows Coronavirus to Resist Antiviral Medications
Released: 3-Aug-2021 12:20 PM EDT
New Study Details Enzyme That Allows Coronavirus to Resist Antiviral Medications
Iowa State University

A new Iowa State University study details the structure of a critical enzyme present in SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This enzyme removes nucleoside antiviral medications from the virus’s RNA, rendering many treatments ineffective. Scientists could use data uncovered in the new study to find ways to inhibit the enzyme, possibly leading to more effective treatments.


Showing results

110 of 6120

close
1.38331