The supercomputer in Japan shows that double masks offer little help …

The supercomputer in Japan shows that double masks offer little help …

Written by Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese giant computer simulation showed that wearing two masks gave little benefit in preventing the spread of the virus compared to one properly fitted mask.

The results contrast in part with recent recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two masks are better than one at reducing a person’s exposure to the Coronavirus.

Researchers used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the flow of virus particles from people wearing different types and combinations of masks, according to a study released Thursday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.

The use of a single surgical mask, made of non-woven material, was 85% effective at blocking particles when worn tightly around the nose and face. Adding the polyurethane mask on top boosted the potency to just 89%.

Wearing two non-woven masks is not helpful because air resistance builds up and causes leakage around the edges.

“Performing double masking simply adds nothing,” wrote the researchers led by Makoto Tsubukura.

Overall the study showed that professional N95 masks were the best at protecting against infection, followed by non-woven masks, cloth masks, and finally polyurethane varieties.

The Riken research team previously used the Fugaku supercomputer to model how humidity could affect viral infections and infection risks in trains, workplaces, and other environments.

As the COVID-19 pandemic increased, the scientific consensus grew that the virus is spreading through the air and that masks are effective in controlling infection. (Prepared by Rocky Swift; edited by Lincoln Fest.)

Our Criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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