A research team from the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) examined the effect of wearing a mask on severity of COVID-19. They know there are benefits to wearing a mask even after the infection is over. In addition to reducing the chance of transmitting the virus, masks can also improve the functioning of the immune system.
Authorities offer a variety of measures an individual can take to reduce the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Staying away physically, washing hands regularly, and just leaving home for important purposes are all good ways to reduce the chance of moving. Wearing a facemask has proven to be another effective way to reduce human proliferation, especially in areas where body detachment is not possible.
In addition to reducing the chance of Covid-19 passage, researchers have now found that there are additional benefits to wearing a mask. Even after infection, masks can help reduce the severity of the COVID-19 virus.
Like most respiratory diseases, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. This can be done by coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Wearing the mask, including different cotton, disposable, and surgical ones, can reduce the number of droplets carried.
The seasonality of respiratory diseases may be attributed to changes in humidity. Low internal and external humidity reduces the amount of moisture in the respiratory tract. The mask absorbs water, increasing the level of moisture absorbed by the wearer. It has been shown that hydration of the respiratory tract is especially beneficial for the immune system. This can be achieved by increasing the moisture in the air being absorbed. When wearing a double-layered cotton mask, the moisture exceeds 100%. This can be beneficial to the user even if the infection has already occurred.
This information is not only applicable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but may also be applicable for other respiratory diseases. Because colder temperatures mean reduced humidity levels, seasonal colds and other respiratory illnesses are common over time. Because masks reduce evaporation inside the respiratory tract, they also reduce the severity of related diseases.
Individuals suffering from the common cold may consider wearing a mask, not only when in public to minimize transmission, but also to reduce the severity of the effects. As masks are more accessible than ever before, this is a good time to continue our understanding of the benefits of wearing a mask.
Courtney and Bax, Hydrating the respiratory tract: an alternative explanation of why the mask covers the more severe COVID-19, Biophysical Journal (2021), https://doi.org/10.1016/j. bpj.2021.02.002
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