“Why should we wear masks?
Young people are spreading COVID-19 in their communities. Studies are clearly showing that:
•Individuals infected with this virus are able to spread to others even if they do not have any symptoms.
•Those without symptoms have the same amount of virus in their noses and throats and are able to spread just as easily as those with symptoms.
•Among those who do show symptoms, people are most contagious at the beginning of their illness, including the day or two before those symptoms start.
COVID-19 is spread primarily through respiratory secretions: droplets from the nose and throat. These infectious droplets are released while coughing and sneezing, but also while just talking, singing, and breathing. We don’t know yet how long these infectious particles can remain in the air, but we do know that wearing a mask, even just a simple cloth face covering, helps contain these droplets so fewer are released into the air.
Children and adults of all ages are at risk of COVID-19. Though older adults are the most likely to die from this illness, complications and hospitalization can occur at any age. Luckily, my family is not high risk for complications. Based on our ages and baseline health, if we get infected, we likely will not have severe disease and may be completely asymptomatic. However, any one of us could be infected right now and spread to those around us. We are potential links in a transmission chain.
We wear our masks to protect you.
We wear our masks to protect our community.
We wear our masks, not out of fear, but out of love.”
Kathleen Winter, PhD, MPH
Assistant professor of Epidemiology
University of Kentucky, College of Public Health
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Zhao et al. COVID-19: Asymptomatic Carrier Transmission Is an Underestimated Problem. Epidemiol Infect. 2020.
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Prakash et al. Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks. ACS Nano. 2020.
Feldstein et al. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in U.S. Children and Adolescents. NEJM. 2020.