Tokyo (ANTARA) – Japanese supercomputer simulations show that wearing a two-layer mask provides limited benefit in blocking the spread of the virus compared to a properly fitted mask.
The findings are in part inversely proportional to a recent recommendation issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that wearing two masks is better at reducing a person’s exposure to the coronavirus.
Researchers used the Fugaku supercomputer to mimic the flow of viral particles from people wearing different types and combinations of masks, according to a study released Thursday by research giant Riken and Kobe University. Using one surgical mask, which is made of a non-woven material, has 85 percent effectiveness in blocking particles when worn around the nose and face properly. Adding a polyurethane mask on top increased the effectiveness to just 89 percent.
Wearing two non-woven masks is useless as air resistance builds up and causes leaks around the edges.
“Wearing two masks makes no sense,” wrote the researchers, led by Makoto Tsubokura.
In general, professional-grade N95 masks are the best at protecting against infection, followed by non-woven masks, cloth masks, and finally the polyurethane type, the study shows.
Riken’s research team previously used the Fugaku supercomputer to model how humidity could affect virus transmission and risk of infection in trains, work spaces and other environments.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, a scientific consensus has grown that the virus is spreading through the air and the use of masks is effective in controlling transmission.
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Translator: Aria Cindyara
Editor: Atman Ahdiat
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