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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2009 Feb;15(2):233-41.
doi: 10.3201/eid1502.081167.

Face Mask Use and Control of Respiratory Virus Transmission in Households

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Face Mask Use and Control of Respiratory Virus Transmission in Households

C Raina MacIntyre et al. Emerg Infect Dis. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Many countries are stockpiling face masks for use as a nonpharmaceutical intervention to control virus transmission during an influenza pandemic. We conducted a prospective cluster-randomized trial comparing surgical masks, non-fit-tested P2 masks, and no masks in prevention of influenza-like illness (ILI) in households. Mask use adherence was self-reported. During the 2006 and 2007 winter seasons, 286 exposed adults from 143 households who had been exposed to a child with clinical respiratory illness were recruited. We found that adherence to mask use significantly reduced the risk for ILI-associated infection, but <50% of participants wore masks most of the time. We concluded that household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease. However, during a severe pandemic when use of face masks might be greater, pandemic transmission in households could be reduced.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow diagram of recruitment for the prospective cluster-randomized trial, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2006 and 2007 winter influenza seasons.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Compliance with mask use by day over 5 consecutive days during the study, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2006 and 2007 winter influenza seasons.

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