Scientists test effectiveness of masks on hamsters

May 18, 2020  12:29

Masks are effective in controlling the COVID-19 spread. Scientists from the University of Hong Kong have proved this thanks to the tests on hamsters.

According to the South China Morning Post, personal protective equipment does help to significantly reduce contactless transmission of the virus.

Within the experiment, scientists have built a special place. On one side of the cell, one COVID-19-infected hamster was placed, and three healty hamsters - on the other. Also, researchers put fans between the cells that 'spread' the infection from an infected rodent to healthy ones. Besides, scientists placed a special 'mask partition' between the cells.

And 52 hamsters were used in the tests carried out under three scenarios: with mask barriers placed only on cages that held infected subjects; with partitions placed only on the uninfected side; and with no partition.

Ten out of fifteen healthy hamsters placed in cages with no partition had contracted COVID-19 after seven days.

But when mask barriers were placed on the infected hamsters’ side, only two of 12 subjects in the adjoining cage, or 16.7 per cent, tested positive for the virus.

That number rose to four of 12 when the partition was placed only on the cage with healthy subjects.

The experts have concluded that COVID-19 transmission can be reduced by 50% when wearing medical masks.

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