The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed a number of studies that analyzed the efficacy of masks in preventing transmission of flu viruses.
The analysis, published in the May issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, “review[ed] the evidence base on the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical personal protective measures and environmental hygiene measures in non-healthcare settings and discuss[ed] their potential inclusion in pandemic plans.”
Its conclusion states [Emphasis Added]: “Evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza,” and that there is only “limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning.”
Ten randomized controlled studies on “the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community” published between 1946 and 2018 were identified and analyzed by the CDC. “In pooled analysis,” they wrote, “we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks” [Emphasis Added].
As for surgical masks the CDC noted they “were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids,” not to stop the spread of diseases.
The CDC further states on surgical masks that “There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure.”
The statements were quite declarative.
When asked by students at Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service about conducting more studies on the efficacy of masks recently, Fauci declined to commit to pursuing them.
“Right now,” he said, “I’m convinced enough in the summation and totality of the data that has been analyzed by meta-analysis that … the benefit of wearing a mask clearly is there and is better than not wearing a mask.”
Fauci went on to suggest it would be unethical to perform a “randomized controlled study” — the most scientifically valuable type of study — “because that would mean having people not wear masks and see if they do better.”
Read more here.
You can read the CDC’s analysis on the efficacy of face masks in preventing infectious diseases here.
Photo by Nurse Together