The study, conducted in 600 villages in rural Bangladesh, is the largest trial to show the effectiveness of face masks in reducing transmission of the coronavirus. While smaller studies in labs and hospitals earlier showed that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, new findings show this effectiveness in the real world — and on a large scale.
For five months, starting in November of last year, scientists watched 342 thousand. 126 adult residents Bangladesh In randomly selected villages where programs have been implemented, including the distribution of free masks in homes and the dissemination of information about their meaning.
Of the nearly 178,000 who wore surgical masks for at least 10 weeks, researchers reported an 11.9 percent reduction in coronavirus symptoms.
“This is really powerful data that combines control of laboratory research with actual human actions around the world to see if we can get people to wear masks and if the masks actually work,” said Laura Kwong, associate professor of environmental health sciences. at UC Berkeley and one with the study’s co-author.
Scientists are now expanding their research to other villages and cities in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The researchers also plan to track the effect of masks on asymptomatic transmission of the virus.
Source: NBC News
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