Danni Ji, one of Dr. T’s Health Psychology students, guest blogs again!:
It may not be the most stylish fashion statement, but past research has found that using surgical masks by flu patients reduced the impact of large droplet spray (coughing, sneezing). And now a recent study by Dr. Milton and his research team found that using a surgical mask prevents both large and fine airborne particles from escaping into the air, which can infect other individuals. Dr. Milton and his team tested 38 flu patients for both coarse (≥ 5 µm) and fine (< 5 µm) particles, and found that there is 9x more influenza virus present even in the smallest airborne droplets exhaled by flu patients than healthy patients. Additionally, wearing a face mask significantly reduced the amount of virus in the smallest droplets by 2.8 fold.