Face mask use and control of respiratory virus transmission in households.

TitleFace mask use and control of respiratory virus transmission in households.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsC MacIntyre R, Cauchemez S, Dwyer DE, Seale H, Cheung P, Browne G, Fasher M, Wood J, Gao Z, Booy R, Ferguson N
JournalEmerg Infect Dis
Date Published2009 Feb
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Australia, Child, Child, Preschool, Family Characteristics, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Influenza, Human, Masks, Patient Compliance, Prospective Studies, Respiratory Tract Infections, Seasons, Treatment Outcome

Many countries are stockpiling face masks for use as a nonpharmaceutical intervention to control virus transmission during an influenza pandemic. We conducted a prospective cluster-randomized trial comparing surgical masks, non-fit-tested P2 masks, and no masks in prevention of influenza-like illness (ILI) in households. Mask use adherence was self-reported. During the 2006 and 2007 winter seasons, 286 exposed adults from 143 households who had been exposed to a child with clinical respiratory illness were recruited. We found that adherence to mask use significantly reduced the risk for ILI-associated infection, but <50% of participants wore masks most of the time. We concluded that household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease. However, during a severe pandemic when use of face masks might be greater, pandemic transmission in households could be reduced.

Alternate JournalEmerging Infect. Dis.
PubMed ID19193267
PubMed Central IDPMC2662657
Grant ListU54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
/ / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
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