Face masks might give immunity by limiting virus dose: lecturers

Sporting masks may cut back the infectious dose that the wearer is uncovered to and, subsequently, the impression of the illness, as masks filter out some virus-containing droplets.


It’s because even a low viral load could be sufficient to induce an immune response, which is successfully what a typical vaccine does. Researchers say population-wide carrying of masks would possibly be certain that extra COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic.

They add that any public well being technique that helps cut back the severity of the virus – comparable to carrying masks – ought to enhance population-wide immunity as nicely.

Dr Monica Gandhi, an infectious illness doctor on the College of California, San Francisco, and one of many commentary’s authors, has burdened that the commentary has its limitations and shouldn’t be construed as something apart from a concept. “To check the variolation speculation, we’ll want extra research evaluating the power and sturdiness of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity between folks with asymptomatic an infection and people with symptomatic an infection, in addition to an indication of the pure slowing of SARS-CoV-2 unfold in areas with a excessive proportion of asymptomatic infections,” she stated.

“Nevertheless, it’s true that the proportion of asymptomatic an infection being elevated by masking would possibly enhance the proportion of the inhabitants who obtain not less than short-term immunity to the virus whereas we await a vaccine.”

Dr Julian Tang, of the College of Leicester, as shared Gandhi’s cautious optimism.

“This concept of ‘variolation’ is kind of possible and should add to the protecting bodily results of common masking by low stage stimulation of the wearer’s immune system,” he stated.

“After all, extra formal research are required to substantiate this impact.”

The Telegraph, London