What is the efficacy of standard face masks compared to respirator masks in preventing COVID-type respiratory illnesses in primary care staff?
Medical Masks vs N95 Respirators for Preventing COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials
Background: Respiratory protective devices are critical in protecting against infection in healthcare workers at high risk of novel 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19); however, recommendations are conflicting and epidemiological data on their relative effectiveness against COVID-19 are limited.
Purpose: To compare medical masks to N95 respirators in preventing laboratory-confirmed viral infection and respiratory illness including coronavirus specifically in healthcare workers
Conclusions: Low certainty evidence suggests that medical masks and N95 respirators offer similar protection against viral respiratory infection including coronavirus in healthcare workers during non-aerosol-generating care. Preservation of N95 respirators for high-risk, aerosol-generating procedures in this pandemic should be considered when in short supply.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2020 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/irv.12745. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32246890