International – Humidity from masks may lessen severity of COVID-19

Face masks substantially increase the humidity of the air that the mask-wearer breathes in, which the researchers propose could help combat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings may help explain why wearing masks has been linked to lower disease severity in people with COVID-19.

Masks serve as a barrier to help protect the people wearing them from getting or spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. These droplets travel into the air when coughing, sneezing, or talking. Masks are a simple barrier to help block respiratory droplets. Studies show that masks reduce the release of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

Research suggests that wearing a face mask may also lessen the severity of COVID-19 if an individual is infected. It’s possible that humidity created within the mask may play a role, as humidity is an essential factor in the process that clears inhaled particles from the lungs…