A new study indicates that wearing face masks is an essential tool in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
That study was just released this week, revealing that surgical masks can dramatically reduce the rate of airborne COVID-19 transmittal. It comes at the same time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now saying the coronavirus "does not spread easily" through touching surfaces or objects.
The face mask study was conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Hong Kong. The researchers found when masks were used, the transmission through airborne particles or droplets went down as much as 75 percent.
"The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge," Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung told Fox News. Yuen is a leading microbiologist from the university who helped discover the SARS virus back in 2003.
The study was released by the university's department of microbiology just as world leaders and several leading health professionals and organizations, have questioned the effectiveness of face coverings.
The research performed by the school, however, was performed on hamsters, instead of humans. Hamsters infected with the COVID-19 virus were put in one cage and healthy ones were placed in another.
In the first experiment, no surgical masks were placed between the two cages. In the second one, a surgical mask was placed closer to the healthy hamsters. In the third experiment, the mask was placed closer to the infected, as if the healthy ones or the infected were wearing masks.
With no partition in between the cages, two-thirds of the healthy hamsters were infected a week later. In the following two experiments with masks in between, the infection rates were lowered to one-third and one-sixth respectively.
Yuen urged the public to keep wearing masks with crowds in the public and in enclosed indoor areas despite the hot weather to help contain the invisible transmission, according to the university's website.
As CBN News reported last month, George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has long urged the overall use of masks.
He recently told Science Magazine, "The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren't wearing masks. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others."
During an appearance on CBN's The 700 Club, neurologist, and immune system expert Dr. David Perlmutter agreed about the value in wearing a mask.
"One thing a mask will do is keep you from touching your face, when your hands are contaminated, which when you're in public is likely to happen," said Perlmutter. "The risk of you touching your nose or mouth is markedly reduced if you're wearing a mask."
Others highlight the success of slowing the epidemic in places like South Korea and Hong Kong, where most people wear masks.
"I've analyzed 38 scientific papers that have looked at the relationship between using masks and the transmission of COVID-19 and similar kinds of viruses, and they all tell the same story, which is that wearing a mask can decrease transmission by up to 50 percent," said Jeremy Howard, a research scientist at the University of San Francisco.
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