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Commentary

Community Use of Face Masks against the Spread of COVID-19

1
Sensori-Neural Disabilities Research Unit, INAPP, 00198 Rome, Italy
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Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences & Public Health, Padua University, 35122 Padua, Italy
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Occupational Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
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Microbiology Unit, Ca’ Foncello Hospital, Local Health Unit N.2 ‘Marca Trevigiana”, 31100 Treviso, Italy
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Section of Dermatology and Venereology, Department of Medicine, University of Verona, 37129 Verona, Italy
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Department of Surgical Medical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, School of Medicine, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
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Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Department, CDI—Italian Diagnostic Centre, 20122 Milan, Italy
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Public Health Department, Local Health Unit N.2 “Marca Trevigiana”, 31100 Treviso, Italy
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Nephrology and Urology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1435916471, Iran
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Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, World Health Organization, 1200 Geneva, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3214; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063214
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 7 March 2021 / Accepted: 11 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
The role of face masks to prevent and control COVID-19 is critical, especially since asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infected individuals can shed high loads of SARS-CoV-2 in the surrounding environment. In addition to being a two-way barrier to protect against virions droplets both in terms of “source control” (for the benefits of the community) and “physical protection” (for wearer), face masks also allow maintaining physiological temperatures and humidity of the nasal cavity and mouth, independently from the external environmental conditions. Beyond compromising the viral transmission speed, exposure to cold environments could have a detrimental effect on the host’s susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. The innate human immune system becomes in fact weaker with cooler nose temperatures and thus more vulnerable to viral replication. Furthermore, there is evidence that warm, humid climates are associated with reduced spread of SARS-CoV-2, while cold dry conditions favor its stability and transmissibility. In the early stage of a viral infection, a physiological body temperature in the upper airways supports the innate immune system, endorsing the muco-ciliary clearance, inhibiting, or deactivating any first settlement of viruses. Face masks are therefore strongly recommended also outdoors, especially under cold weather conditions, not only as a physical barrier against the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but also to prevent the rapid cooling of the nasal mucosa and the inhibition of the human innate defense of the upper airways. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; transmissibility; nasal cavity; health protection; face masks SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; transmissibility; nasal cavity; health protection; face masks
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bubbico, L.; Mastrangelo, G.; Larese-Filon, F.; Basso, P.; Rigoli, R.; Maurelli, M.; Ferlito, S.; Capelli, M.; Gisabella, C.; Javanbakht, M.; Bellizzi, S.; Cegolon, L. Community Use of Face Masks against the Spread of COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3214. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063214

AMA Style

Bubbico L, Mastrangelo G, Larese-Filon F, Basso P, Rigoli R, Maurelli M, Ferlito S, Capelli M, Gisabella C, Javanbakht M, Bellizzi S, Cegolon L. Community Use of Face Masks against the Spread of COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3214. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063214

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bubbico, Luciano, Giuseppe Mastrangelo, Francesca Larese-Filon, Paolo Basso, Roberto Rigoli, Martina Maurelli, Salvatore Ferlito, Marco Capelli, Claudio Gisabella, Mohammad Javanbakht, Saverio Bellizzi, and Luca Cegolon. 2021. "Community Use of Face Masks against the Spread of COVID-19" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 3214. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063214

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