Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spreads through droplets containing virus particles when infected individuals sneeze, cough, or speak. A healthy individual can get infected by inhaling droplets. Face masks can offer a physical barrier against virus transmission. This is particularly true for SARS-CoV-2 virus that are shed by symptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and asymptomatic carriers. Since it cannot be ascertained who is infected without testing, US needs 300 million masks per day to prevent spreading. This demand cannot be met by commercial masks. Hence, recently the CDC provided new guidance to use cloth face covering. However, there is little scientific study on the efficacy of cloth masks against high impact droplets released during coughing or sneezing. This led to controversies on the use of homemade masks: Will homemade masks be effective, and if so by what mechanism? We will address this question by discussing our recent research on the efficacy of home fabrics in blocking high velocity droplets.
Speaker: Dr. Taher Saif, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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