Coughs are one of the main ways the coronavirus spreads, with the irritating symptom a tell-tale sign of infection. Masks are recommended for patients to help prevent them transmitting the infection to others, like their carers. Evidence on the benefits of masks has been somewhat muddled. The World Health Organization recently stated masks may provide “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”. To learn more, scientists from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus ran a series of computer models where they simulated a cough from both a masked and unmasked patient. While the mask did help limit the spread of infected droplets, the team found it became less effective the more the patient coughed.
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