Researchers say Face Shields don't Stop COVID-19 Spread, What works best?September 26, 2020 16:25
(Image source from: Nbcnews.com)
A study warns against plastic shields as protection against COVID-19 and said that they might not work at all to curb the spread.
Face shields are being used across the world most popularly in airports and other crowded places these days as a measure to contain the COVID-19 spread.
A new study has found out that face shields may not at all be effective in preventing the viral attack nor curbing the spread.
Ever since there is a spike in the number of coronavirus cases across the world, WHO and other health experts have made it mandatory for people to use face coverings.
While they were initially reported to use only for symptomatic people, the face masks have later been made mandatory for all.
Some studies by the researchers have also found out that the virus can be airborne which made people realize the value of face masks.
However, the type of masks that are being used also play a major role in preventing the spread of the virus.
Various types of face masks and face shields are available in the market, but which ones work best for preventing the spread?
While people have been using plastic shields to protect themselves from the virus, a new study has been surfaced that warned against the effectiveness of them.
Face shields have become common for use in restaurants, workplaces, and salons where social distancing can be difficult.
The new study warns that face shields can actually allow the airborne virus droplets to escape almost completely.
The research was conducted in Japan where researchers have performed a simulation using the world’s fastest super computer.
The simulation has found out that the airborne droplets of less than 5 micrometers in size can move out of the plastic shields and can find their way into the air.
The stimulation found out that the effectiveness of the face shields is very much limited when compared to the face masks.
This study is especially true for droplets of the size less than 20 micrometers and not more than 50 micrometers.
Which masks work the best then?
Many studies are emerging recently regarding the types of face masks and their effectiveness. People these days are becoming more cautious about the face masks and want to make sure that they use the best ones.
● N95 Masks
N95 masks without valves have been found out to be the best measure to fight and prevent COVID-19.
These masks, according to the study, do not let the virus escape and helps in keeping the people safe.
However, the masks should be disinfected after every use.
● N95 Valved Masks
According to the Union Health Ministry, valved N95 masks can lead to the spread of the virus as the valves might allow the viral droplets to escape. Hence, they are not much effective.
● Surgical Face Masks
The most commonly used face masks are the surgical masks and they should only be used once.
However, these face masks may not be environment-friendly given the need to use the masks every time we step out of the house.
● Faceshield with masks
If one uses a face shield they must use it in combination with a face mask for best results. This is the only way to use a face shield to prevent the spread of the virus.
- By Gayatri Yellayi