Can wearing a mask prevent new coronavirus?

New Coronavirus Transmission Path


(一) Source of infection

The source of infection seen so far is mainly pneumonia patients infected with new coronavirus.

(二) Transmission route

The transmission through the respiratory tract droplets is the main transmission route, and can also be transmitted through contact.

(三) Susceptible population

The population is generally susceptible. The elderly and those with underlying diseases are more ill after infection, and children and infants also have the disease.

Experts believe that the new coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus) is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets, and can also be transmitted through contact.

Therefore, the transmission route of the new corona virus is actually very similar to the transmission route of the influenza virus. In the case of not fully understanding the new virus, we can refer to some previous research data on whether wearing a mask can prevent the influenza virus.

Wearing a mask can help prevent viral infections

1 (9)

A study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases evaluated the risk of influenza infection among family members with children suffering from influenza-like illnesses, comparing N95 masks with ordinary medical masks and no gas density tests. (Non-fit-tested P2 masks) and three cases without wearing masks. The results of the study showed that family members who wear masks correctly have a 80% lower risk of influenza, but the effect of using ordinary medical masks and N95 masks without test gas density is not significantly different.

Another study in the Annals of Internal Medicine surveyed 400 people with influenza. The results showed that when washing hands and wearing masks frequently, the risk of influenza in the family of patients was reduced by 70%.

A report from the University of Michigan is to study the effect of non-pharmacological interventions (NPI) on the prevention of influenza in the event of a vaccine shortage. The study surveyed more than 1,000 college students living in student dormitories and compared the “no special defense measures vs. The prevention effect of wearing a mask vs wearing a face mask + washing hands frequently, the study found that wearing only masks cannot prevent influenza, but wearing masks and washing hands frequently can reduce the risk of flu by 75%.

In addition, a CDC study showed that patients wearing medical masks can greatly reduce viral aerosol emissions (reduced by 3.4 times), which can reduce the virus copy number by 2.8 times for small particles smaller than 5 microns; for particles larger than 5 microns , Can reduce the virus copy number by 25 times.

It can be seen from the above that for the influenza virus and the new coronavirus, the combination of wearing a mask and washing hands frequently can effectively reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus through droplets and contact, thereby reducing the risk of infection.

How to bring a medical surgical mask?

Medical masks usually have positive and negative blue and white sides, also known as blue and white masks. In fact, medical masks have at least three layers:

face mask

•  The outer layer is mostly blue or other colors, made of water blocking material, which can prevent liquid from entering the mask to its inside;
•  In the middle is the filter layer to block germs;
•  The inner layer is white, which can absorb moisture and absorb moisture during exhalation.

Therefore, when wearing a mask, you should face the white side and the colored side outward to have a protective effect.

The correct wearing method of medical surgical mask:

1. Clean your hands before wearing a mask;
2. Choose a mask that fits your size, put the metal strip on the side of the mask upward, hang the elastic bands on the back of the ear, and then fully expand the outer folding surface to ensure that the mask completely covers the mouth, nose and chin, and then press the metal strip with both hands Nose clip to make the mask fit the face completely;
3. Try not to touch the mask again after wearing the mask. If you must touch it, you should wash your hands before and after;
4. When removing the mask, try not to touch the outer layer of the mask, you should pull the elastic band from behind the ear to remove the mask;
5. Masks should be discarded in the trash can after use and covered, and hands should be washed immediately. Medical masks are disposable and should not be reused.

When to wear a mask:

•  When approaching a sick person, you should wear a mask before 6 feet / 2 meters (data shows that flu patients can infect people within 6 feet of you);
•  If you are sick, you should wear a medical mask before approaching others;
•  If you have symptoms of infectious diseases such as flu or new pneumonia, you should wear a medical mask when you go to the doctor to prevent the spread of bacteria;
•  If there are many people around with coughing and sneezing, wearing a mask can also prevent yourself from being sprayed by droplets, but medical masks cannot filter small aerosols suspended in the air. That is to say, when walking on an empty street and there are no people nearby, there is no difference between wearing a medical mask and not.

How long can a medical mask be worn?

It is generally recommended that ASTM certified medical surgical masks be used continuously for no more than 4 hours, because the protective effect will decrease with time. In addition, when the medical mask becomes wet, dirty, or damaged and falls off, it will also affect the protective effect, and all new masks should be replaced.

Medical masks should be discarded in a trash can with a lid after use to reduce the chance of germs spreading.

Disposable masks should not be reused. After cleaning, sterilizing and disinfecting with water, heating, alcohol and other chemical substances, ultraviolet rays, etc., it is likely to damage the waterproof layer and filter layer of the mask. Testing is generally not recommended. However, in the case of shortage of materials, the method of choosing dry heating or ultraviolet disinfection masks is relatively more reliable.

mask machine

In addition to wearing a mask, wash your hands frequently!


As mentioned before, the effect of wearing a mask to prevent viral infection is not good, because the virus is not only spread by droplets, but also can be spread through direct or indirect contact through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nasal cavity, and eyes; The incubation period can also spread the virus. When contacted with the carrier, or contact with the virus-contaminated objects may be infected.

If your personal hygiene habits are not good, touch the outside of a mask that blocks many germs with your hands, then remove the mask, then rub your eyes and grab food without washing your hands. Too.

Therefore, it is very important to develop good habits, not to directly touch the eyes, nose and mouth with your hands, and to wash your hands frequently and carefully!

•  When you can clearly see the dirt, you should wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds;
•  Friends can follow the “seven-step hand-washing method” and learn the correct hand-washing steps;
•  When there is no obvious dirt, you can wash your hands with soap and water, or use a no-clean hand sanitizer with an alcohol concentration of not less than 60% to clean your hands;
•  When going out, it is best to carry anhydrous hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands at any time.

In addition to paying attention to personal hygiene, you should also pay attention to the hygiene of your home and work environment. Especially when someone is sick around you, you should touch the surface of some objects that your hands often touch, such as mobile phones, mouse keyboards, desktops, door handles, refrigerator door handles, light switches, TV remote controls, toilet flush handles, faucets, etc. Sterilize and disinfect with alcohol or disinfectant wipes at least once a day.