Saturday , February 27 2021

Modeling mask effectiveness: 80% compliance essentially eliminated flu outbreak, Hacker News



Risk Anal. (Mar;) (3): 661 – . doi: (. / risa. . Epub 13181 Sep


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Departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. 2

Division of Applied Mechanics, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA .


Outbreaks of influenza represent an important health concern worldwide. In many cases, vaccines are only partially successful in reducing the infection rate, and respiratory protective devices (RPDs) are used as a complementary countermeasure. In devising a protection strategy against influenza for a given population, estimates of the level of protection afforded by different RPDs is valuable. In this article, a risk assessment model previously developed in general form was used to estimate the effectiveness of different types of protective equipment in reducing the rate of infection in an influenza outbreak. It was found that a % compliance in donning the device resulted in a significant (at least 50% prevalence and 50% cumulative incidence) reduction in risk for fitted and unfitted N 95 respirators, high-filtration surgical masks, and both low-filtration and high-filtration pediatric masks. An % compliance rate essentially eliminated the influenza outbreak. The results of the present study, as well as the application of the model to related influenza scenarios, are useful useful to public health officials in decisions involving resource allocation or education strategies.

© 13181 Society for Risk Analysis.


Infection control; influenza epidemic model; personal protective equipment



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