Back to Journals » Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare » Volume 1

Transmission of communicable respiratory infections and facemasks

Authors Yi Li, Yue Ping Guo, Kwok Ching Thomas Wong, Wai Yee Joanne Chung, Mayur Danny Indulal Gohel, Hang Mei Polly Leung

Published 21 May 2008 Volume 2008:1 Pages 17—27

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S3019

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Yi Li1, Yue Ping Guo1, Kwok Ching Thomas Wong2, Wai Yee Joanne Chung2, Mayur Danny Indulal Gohel3, Hang Mei Polly Leung3

1Institute of Textiles and Clothing, 2School of Nursing, 3Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China

Background: Respiratory protection efficiency of facemasks is critically important in the battle against communicable respiratory infections such as influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We studied the spatial distributions of simulated virus-laden respiratory droplets when human subjects wore facemasks and were exposed to regulatory viral droplets by conducting in vivo experiments in facemask use.

Methods: Transmission pathway of aerosols of Fluorescein-KCl solution through facemasks and protective efficiency of facemasks were examined by using normal surgical facemasks and two facemasks with exhaust valves (Facemask A) and exhaust holes (Facemask B) covered with the same surgical filters situated at the back of the facemasks. Fluorescein-KCl solution was sprayed onto the faces of participants wearing the facemasks and performing intermittent exercises on a treadmill in a climatic chamber.

Results: Experimental results showed that when droplets spread onto a person face-to-face over short distances, 92.3% to 99.5% of droplets were blocked by the front surface of the facemask, whereas only 0.5% to 7.7% of droplets reached the back of the facemask. Both facemasks A and B had near or over 99% protection efficiency, compared with that of 95.5% to 97% of surgical facemasks. Using the same filters as normal surgical masks, facemasks A and B provided more effective respiratory protection against communicable respiratory infections such as influenza and SARS by the location of the breathing pathway to the back of the facemasks.

Conclusions: Separating the breathing pathway from the virus-contaminated area in facemasks can provide more effective protection against communicable respiratory infections such as influenza and SARS.

Keywords: transmission, communicable respiratory infections, separating the breathing pathway, the virus-contaminated area, facemasks with valves/holes, protective efficiency

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 

 

Readers of this article also read:

Efficacy, safety, and impact on hospitalizations of paliperidone palmitate in recent-onset schizophrenia

Zhang F, Si T, Chiou CF, Harris AWF, Kim CY, Jahagirdar P, Ascher S

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2015, 11:657-668

Published Date: 11 March 2015

Erratum

Kawaji H, Ishii M, Tamaki Y, Sasaki K, Takagi M

Orthopedic Research and Reviews 2012, 4:103-104

Published Date: 8 November 2012

Quantifying the impact of nonadherence patterns on exposure to oral immunosuppressants

Maclean JR, Pfister M, Zhou Z, Roy A, Tuomari VA, Heifets M

Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 2011, 7:149-156

Published Date: 11 April 2011

Treatment options for hypertension in high-risk patients

Wei-Chuan Tsai

Vascular Health and Risk Management 2011, 7:137-141

Published Date: 9 March 2011

Prostate cancer cells undergoing ER stress in vitro and in vivo activate transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines

Navin R Mahadevan, Antonio Fernandez, Jeffrey J Rodvold, et al

Journal of Inflammation Research 2010, 3:99-103

Published Date: 20 August 2010

Topical alpha-selective p38 MAP kinase inhibition reduces acute skin inflammation in guinea pig

Satyanarayana Medicherla, Jing Ying Ma, Mamtha Reddy, et al

Journal of Inflammation Research 2010, 3:9-16

Published Date: 18 February 2010

Prolonged rupture of membranes in term infants: should all babies be screened?

Christopher Flannigan, Martina Hogan

Clinical Audit 2010, 2:1-6

Published Date: 9 February 2010