Cloth masks also protect against COVID-19 if you clean them properly

If you use a cloth mask, washing it daily can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to some extent, a study published by UNSW Sydney clearly states. A mask made of cloth needs to be washed daily in hot water. This is something that UNSW Sydney recommends to everyone.

“Both cloth masks and surgical masks should be considered ‘contaminated’ after use,” says Professor Raina MacIntyre, who conducted the study. Unlike surgical masks, which disposed of after use, cloth masks can be re-used”. “While it can be tempting to use the same mask for multiple days in a row. Or to give it a quick hand-wash or wipe-over, Our research suggests that this increases the risk of contamination.”

The unpublished data from a randomized controlled trial published in 2015 analyzed by the researchers. The researchers analyzed unpublished data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in 2015. “Given the potential implications for health workers or community members who are using cloth masks during the pandemic. “

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“We studied the 2011 data on whether the health workers in our study washed their masks daily. If so, how they washed their masks. We found that if cloth masks were washed in the hospital laundry, they were as effective as a surgical mask.” This study was conducted over five years ago. The researchers did not test for SARS-CoV-2. Instead of that, they included influenza, rhinoviruses, and seasonal coronaviruses.

“While someone wearing a cloth mask in contact with the same amount of pathogens as a healthcare worker in a high-risk ward. We would still recommend the daily washing of cloth masks in the community. COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus, and there is still a lot that we don’t know about it. So it’s important that we take every precaution we can to protect against it and ensure masks are effective,” says Professor MacIntyre.

Analysis claims that washing the masks with hands won’t provide enough protection. Health workers who hand washed the masks had the utmost risk of getting virus infection. Those who wash using laundry will have the least chance of infection. “The WHO recommends machine washing masks with hot water at 60 degrees celsius and laundry detergent, and the results of our analysis support this recommendation,” says Professor MacIntyre.

The default temperatures of washing machines are 40 degrees or 60 degrees. So it is understandable that, in these hot temperatures, hand washing is close to impossible. The conclusion is, cloth masks also work, but only if you wash and handle them properly.

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