Danish study finds face masks provide limited protection to wearer


FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks are seen on a street amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China, November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish study released on Wednesday found face masks provide the wearer with only limited protection against COVID-19 infection, but said this should not be used to argue against their widespread use to prevent people infecting others.

In the study, which was carried out in April and May when Danish authorities did not recommend wearing face masks, 6,024 adults were divided into two groups, one wearing face masks and one control group.

After one month, 1.8% of the people wearing masks had been infected, while 2.1% of the people in the control group had tested positive, Copenhagen University Hospital said in a press release.

"The study does not confirm the expected halving of the risk of infection for people wearing face masks," it said. "The results could indicate a more moderate degree of protection of 15-20%, however, the study could not rule out that face masks do not provide any protection."

The findings are consistent with previous research. Health experts have long said a mask provides only limited protection for the person wearing it, but can dramatically reduce the risk to others if the wearer is infected, even when showing no symptoms. Preventing the spread to others is known as source control.

The study's findings "should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection," the authors wrote.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

31% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Tokyo to call for shortened hours for bars, restaurants - report
Sources close to ex-PM Abe say his camp subsidised backers' party - media
Space oddity? Monolith in Utah desert mystifies helicopter crew
Pompeo says U.S. State Department transition process begun
Pakistan gives U.N. a dossier on India after India submits one on Pakistan
Canada sees daily average of 5,050 COVID-19 cases over past week
Uruguay to step up COVID-19 testing
Syrian army says Israel hits southern Damascus in second strike in week
White House approves intelligence brief for Biden
Roundup: France's Macron unveils gradual easing of lockdown, expecting "new stage"

Stories You'll Enjoy