Study: Some masks may be worse than no mask at all

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3M N95-type and N100-type face masks (Photo: CDC / Debora Cartagena)

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) — By now we all know that N-95 masks are better than surgical masks which are better than cloth masks which are better than a scarf or bandana.

But are they all better than nothing?

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“Like the common sense of just putting your hand in front of your face, we really thought that any mask would be better than nothing,” Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University said.

Westman, who specializes in internal medicine, was not having to deal with COVID-19 patients, but he still wanted to do something that might help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

He realized that while they had plenty of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE at Duke Health, there were other frontline workers like bus drivers who did not.

He believed early on that masks would help stop the spread.

He raised tens of thousands of dollars in an online fundraiser to buy masks for those frontline workers, but he wasn’t sure which masks would provide the best bang for his buck.

He didn’t necessarily need the best N-95 masks for casual use, but whatever he bought he wanted them to be as efficient as possible.

Westman knew researchers had already discovered that coughing and sneezing would put respiratory droplets into the air.

Read more here.