The widespread use of cloth masks by healthcare workers may actually put them at increased risk of respiratory illness and viral infections and their global use should be discouraged, according to a University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) study published in the journal BMJ Open.
Cloth masks remain widely used globally because they are a cheaper option especially in areas where there are shortages of protective equipment, including in Asian countries, which have historically been affected by emerging infectious diseases, as well as in West Africa, which was the epicentre of the recent Ebola epidemic.
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