Exams on hamsters reveal the widespread use of facemasks reduces transmission of the lethal coronavirus, a workforce of main consultants in Hong Kong mentioned Sunday.
The analysis by the College of Hong Kong is a number of the first to particularly examine whether or not masks can cease symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers from infecting others.
Led by Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, one of many world’s prime coronavirus consultants, the workforce positioned hamsters that had been artificially contaminated with the illness subsequent to wholesome animals.
Surgical masks had been positioned between the 2 cages with air move travelling from the contaminated animals to the wholesome ones.
The researchers discovered non-contact transmission of the virus may very well be decreased by greater than 60 p.c when the masks had been used.
Two thirds of the wholesome hamsters had been contaminated inside per week if no masks had been utilized.
The an infection fee plunged to only over 15 p.c when surgical masks had been placed on the cage of the contaminated animals and by about 35 p.c when positioned on the cage with the wholesome hamsters.
Those who did grow to be contaminated had been additionally discovered to have much less of the virus inside their our bodies than these contaminated and not using a masks.
“It’s extremely clear that the impact of masking the contaminated, particularly when they’re asymptomatic – or symptomatic – it is way more vital than anything,” Yuen informed reporters Sunday.
“It additionally defined why common masking is vital as a result of we now have recognized that a lot of these contaminated don’t have any symptom.”
Yuen was one of many microbiologists who found the SARS virus – a predecessor of the present coronavirus – when it emerged in 2003, killing some 300 individuals in Hong Kong.
Armed with information from that battle, he suggested Hong Kongers early within the present pandemic to undertake common masking, one thing embraced by the town’s residents.
On the time the World Well being Organisation and plenty of different overseas well being authorities dismissed utilizing masks extensively among the many public, saying they need to as a substitute go to frontline medical employees.
4 months after its first COVID-19 case was detected, Hong Kong has largely managed to include the illness with simply over 1,000 infections and 4 deaths.
Consultants have credited widespread masks use in addition to environment friendly testing, tracing and remedy within the metropolis of seven.5 million for the comparatively low numbers. – AFP