Humidity from masks may lessen the severity of COVID-19

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According to a recent National Institute of Health (NIH study), masks may decrease illness severity from COVID-19.

NIH researchers tested four types of masks:

  • A three-ply disposable surgical mask
  • A two-ply cotton-polyester mask
  • A heavy cotton mask
  • A N95 mask

The NIH study suggests that the increase in humidity of inhaled air inside face masks leads to increased respiratory tract hydration. This increase in moisture potentially improves the clearance of harmful particles from the lungs and stimulates the immune system to release factors to fight against viruses.

The study did not look at which mask was more effective but showed that all four masks increased the humidity of inhaled air to varying degrees. Overall it demonstrated how important it is for us to wear masks to protect ourselves and the people around us.

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