NEW YORK (dpa-AFX) – According to a study, wearing protective masks has prevented tens of thousands of coronavirus infections in Italy and New York. In Italy, the measure prevented more than 78,000 infections between April 6 and May 9, and more than 66,000 in New York from April 17 to May 9, researchers from universities in Texas and California calculate in a specialist journal ” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “(” PNAS “). Accordingly, the airborne transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen is the dominant route of infection.
The researchers examined data and statistics from Wuhan, China, where the virus initially broke out, as well as from Italy and the metropolis of New York. In Italy and New York, the wearing of masks was arranged according to other recommendations, such as washing your hands or keeping your distance – in the particularly hard-hit north of Italy on April 6, in New York on April 17. In Wuhan, on the other hand, all of these rules were ordered at the same time. The researchers now compared the data before and after the mask rule in New York and Italy with that in Wuhan.
From their numbers, the team led by Renyi Zhang from A&M University in College Station concludes that the transmission of viruses through the air emerges as the dominant route of infection. Measures such as keeping a distance and quarantine alone could therefore not stop the spread of corona. “The difference between mandatory and non-mandatory mouthguards is the determining factor in shaping the course of the global pandemic,” they write ./cah/DP/mis