Effectiveness of Cloth Masks against respiratory infections

Cloth masks have been used in healthcare and community settings to protect the wearer from respiratory infections for many years around the world.

Masks have two functions: firstly to prevent transmission of respiratory infections from infected person (source) to another (recipient), and secondly in the contra direction as a barrier to acquiring an infection.

The filtration effectiveness and performance of cloth masks is generally inferior than that of medical masks and respirators; however, cloth masks may provide some protection if well designed and used correctly.

The best cloth masks are those that use multilayer cloth, designed to fit snuggly around the face and are made of water-resistant fabric with a high number of threads and fine weave. Ill fitting masks can reduce effectiveness by up to 60%.

Cloth masks should be washed daily and after high-exposure use, by using soap and hot water or other appropriate methods to maintain good filtration.

There is a need for further research in improving the engineering design of cloth masks to enhance their filtration and fit, and also further investigation into the various methods for effective decontamination.

Reference article from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report Vol 26 No10 October 2020.

Hope you have a good month and stay safe through these unprecedented times

All the best,


Quotation corner:

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

General George S. Patton

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow

Mark Twain

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
This entry was posted in design, Health, humor, humour, medical, Medical Engineering, Pandemic, quotations, quotes, technology, Uncategorized, Virus Infection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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