Masks Don’t Work (Cochrane Paper)

"Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza-like illness (ILI)/COVID-19 like illness compared to not wearing masks..."

Resource Link for Masks Don’t Work (Cochrane Paper) (opens new window)

Paper Title:

Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

On Medical/surgical Masks compared to no masks

Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza-like illness (ILI)/COVID-19 like illness compared to not wearing masks (risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84 to 1.09; 9 trials, 276,917 participants; moderate?certainty evidence.

N95/P2 respirators compared to medical/surgical masks

The use of a N95/P2 respirators compared to medical/surgical masks probably makes little or no difference for the objective and more precise outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza infection (RR 1.10, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.34; 5 trials, 8407 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Restricting pooling to healthcare workers made no difference to the overall findings. Harms were poorly measured and reported, but discomfort wearing medical/surgical masks or N95/P2 respirators was mentioned in several studies (very low-certainty evidence).

Paper’s authors:

  • Tom Jefferson
  • Liz Dooley
  • Eliana Ferroni
  • Lubna A Al-Ansary
  • Mieke L van Driel
  • Ghada A Bawazeer
  • Mark A Jones
  • Tammy C Hoffmann
  • Justin Clark
  • Elaine M Beller
  • Paul P Glasziou
  • John M Conly

Resource Category: COVID



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