Masks cut the risk of Covid in half, shows a new study – archyde


The results come from evidence that vaccination efforts were insufficient to prevent a resurgence

As Covid-19 is making a comeback in Europe, a study is recalling that simple measures like wearing masks and washing hands can help stave off the disease.

Putting on a face mask cuts your risk of developing Covid by more than half, according to a review of eight studies published in the British Medical Journal. The same goes for hand washing. Physical distancing meanwhile reduces the risk by a quarter.

The results come from evidence that vaccination efforts were insufficient to prevent a resurgence as temperatures drop and people crowd indoors, forcing countries like Austria and the Netherlands to introduce curbs.

“It is likely that continuing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic depends not only on high vaccination coverage and effectiveness, but on continued adherence to effective and sustainable public health measures,” authors, including Stella Talic, who the study’s lead researcher and epidemiologist at Monash University in Melbourne, the newspaper said.

The scientists struggled to evaluate public health interventions, saying they couldn’t evaluate other efforts like quarantines, bans and school closings because the studies were too diverse. They called for more research, saying their results were limited by the lack of reliable and comparable data.

An accompanying editorial in the BMJ states that the funding of public health measures only accounts for 4% of global Covid research.

“Given the centrality of public health and social interventions in pandemic control, the uncertainties and controversies surrounding their effects, and the immense research effort that is being put into vaccine and drug development, this lack of investment in public health efforts is puzzling,” said Paul Glasziou , Director of the Institute for Evidence-Based Health Care at Bond University, Australia, wrote in the editorial with scientists from the UK and Norway.

Glasziou and his colleagues also tried to explain the researchers’ hand washing results – a surprising conclusion when you consider that the coronavirus is mainly airborne. The results may reflect how people who wash their hands frequently tend to take other steps too.

“It is likely that hand washing is a hallmark of various protective behaviors, such as avoiding crowds, distancing themselves and wearing masks,” they said.


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