08.09.2021 change 08.09.2021

Kraków researchers reveal effectiveness of face masks during coughing

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Scientists from Poland and the US are investigating how important face masks can be in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 pathogens when people cough.

Using computer simulations, the teams from Kraków’s Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications and the University of Texas found that in closed rooms, without additional air movement, in case of coughing without a mask, it is theoretically possible to become infected even at a distance of 2 meters from the coughing person. 

On the other hand, a coughing person who covers their mouth with a mask reduces the distance of emitted pathogens by as much as four times, which means the relative safety of people who maintain social distance.

Simulations also show that it is possible to be infected by a person wearing a mask if social distance is not maintained.

Professor Paszyński from AGH-UST said: “With the help of mathematician Professor Ignacio Muga from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile we have developed a computer model that allows us to study the importance of masks in the context of the spread of pathogens during coughing.

“Simulations clearly show how important wearing a mask is during the pandemic, especially by infected people.”

Academic publishing company Springer Nature has now called for the researchers’ findings to be made available to the World Health Organization and public international scientific libraries.

Previous research and simulations carried out at the Institute of Computer Science at AGH-UST concerned, among other things, the propagation of cancer, flood wave or pollutants over Małopolska. (PAP)

author: Beata Kołodziej

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