Why do people wear masks when they get flu?
Dressed in a mask, wearing goggles, and wearing face masks, you might be a little paranoid but, in reality, you’re just protecting your eyes and ears.
So, why not wear a mask and stay safe?
Read moreRead moreA new study, published in the journal Neurology, has revealed that masks protect against the flu, even when the virus is already circulating in the body.
The research, led by Professor John Balfour from the University of Bristol, found that the use of a mask while exposed to influenza causes a reduction in the number of viruses in the blood stream, and that this effect lasts for about 24 hours.
The mask is a highly effective way to reduce viral transmission, says Balfours team, who conducted the study using the same model of influenza virus that is used to protect against COVID-19.
“People were really surprised by this finding.
They thought that a mask would stop them getting infected but they were actually not as good as we thought,” Balfors team leader Dr Alex Balfouri told Business Insider.
The study found that wearing a mask reduces the number and type of virus particles in the bloodstream, and is effective against influenza viruses in a range of different viral species.
It’s also important to remember that wearing the mask reduces your risk of developing the disease, but does not eliminate it.
In the case of influenza, this means that even people who have no symptoms or are otherwise immune to the virus may still be exposed to it.
“The mask reduces viral transmission and protects the person from the disease,” says Berekouri.
The research team also found that people wearing masks were more likely to have respiratory infections that were milder than those wearing goggles or face masks.”
This may include the person’s previous influenza infection.”
The research team also found that people wearing masks were more likely to have respiratory infections that were milder than those wearing goggles or face masks.
The masks were also effective in reducing the risk of serious illness in people with mild symptoms of influenza such as colds and flu, and those with serious symptoms such as pneumonia, influenza, and meningitis.
“There was a reduction of respiratory infections and a reduction [in] meningitic pneumonia, both of which were very important,” Berekuls team told Business Insider.
“In addition, we found that even in people who were not experiencing symptoms, the masks were effective in preventing people from getting pneumonia.”
We also found a reduction, particularly in people over 65 years of age, in pneumonia risk associated with masks.
“What does this mean for the rest of us?
When you’re wearing a face mask, there’s a good chance you are not coughing, sneezing, or sneezed too much, and this may reduce your risk for contracting the virus.
But if you have a fever and a cough, you may need to get a second mask, and if you get pneumonia, you can be at greater risk of dying from the infection.
While masks may not be effective at blocking COVID transmission, they can protect the wearer from the virus and prevent them from becoming infected.””
We think this may be because masks are not as effective at preventing respiratory infections as goggles or other headgear,” said Balforius team leader Andrew Balfor.
“While masks may not be effective at blocking COVID transmission, they can protect the wearer from the virus and prevent them from becoming infected.”
What about the other side of the coin?
While masks can reduce the risk, there may still still be cases where people are exposed to COVID when wearing masks.
This can include those who wear goggles, or people who wear face masks to reduce the virus spread.
“It may be that the masks themselves have no effect at all on COVID,” said Dr Balfori, “but when you are exposed, it is probably the face mask or goggles that do the job.”
“The masks are a great idea, but people who are not wearing masks may be exposing themselves to a different type of infection,” said Professor Balfury.
“So we need a better understanding of the impact of the different types of masks we use and the risks of these different types.”