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Face Protection Effective In Preventing The Spread Of Influenza, Study Suggests

Date:
May 22, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A new article assessed various ways in which aerosol transmission of the flu, a central mode of diffusion which involves breathing droplets in the air, can be reduced. Results show that face protection is a key infection control measure for influenza and can thus affect how people should try to protect themselves from the swine flu.

Face protection is a key infection control measure for influenza.
Credit: iStockphoto

A new article in the journal Risk Analysis assessed various ways in which aerosol transmission of the flu, a central mode of diffusion which involves breathing droplets in the air, can be reduced. Results show that face protection is a key infection control measure for influenza and can thus affect how people should try to protect themselves from the swine flu.

Lawrence M. Wein, Ph.D., and Michael P. Atkinson of Stanford University constructed a mathematical model of aerosol transmission of the flu to explore infection control measures in the home.

Their model predicted that the use of face protection including N95 respirators (these fit tight around the face and are often worn by construction workers) and surgical masks (these fit looser around the face and are often worn by dental hygienists) are effective in preventing the flu. The filters in surgical masks keep out 98 percent of the virus. Also, only 30 percent of the benefits of the respirators and masks are achieved if they are used only after an infected person develops symptoms.

"Our research aids in the understanding of the efficacy of infection control measures for influenza, and provides a framework about the routes of transmission," the authors conclude.

This timely article has the potential to impact current efforts and recommendations to control the so-called swine flu by international, national and local governments in perspective.

This study is published in the journal Risk Analysis. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact .net.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Face Protection Effective In Preventing The Spread Of Influenza, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520161332.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, May 22). Face Protection Effective In Preventing The Spread Of Influenza, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520161332.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Face Protection Effective In Preventing The Spread Of Influenza, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520161332.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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