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BET 1: Do homemade or cloth face masks work as a preventive measure for respiratory virus transmission?
  1. Nicolas Delvaux1,
  2. Bert Aertgeerts1,
  3. Jan Yvan Jos Verbakel1,2
  1. 1 Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Academic Centre for General Practice, KU Leuven, Leuven, Vlaanderen, Belgium
  2. 2 Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxon, UK


A short-cut review of the available medical literature was carried out to establish whether homemade or cloth face masks can prevent respiratory virus transmission or clinical illness. After abstract review, twelve papers were found to answer this clinical question using the detailed search strategy. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. It is concluded that there is currently no direct evidence to support the use of homemade or cloth masks by the general public for protection against viral infections.

  • emergency care systems

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