Don’t count on face shields to protect yourself from COVID-19

Face shields don’t really protect much.

A new study is the latest science to cast doubt on plastic face shields in the fight against COVID-19.

The study included a video to illustrate how a sneeze from a person infected with the coronavirus wears “vortex rings” of contagious particles under a face shield, rendering PPE useless, according to findings published by University researchers. from Fukuoka in Japan in Physics magazine. of fluids.

“The vortex rings generated by the sneeze capture the microscopic droplets within the sneeze and transport them to the upper and lower edges of the face shield,” lead researcher Dr. Fujio Akagi told the Daily Mail. In the computer-generated model, a sneezing, with COVID-infected particles throughout the journey, it traveled a surprising distance, about 3 feet.

Think of vortex rings as “dolphin-made bubble rings,” added Akagi, who mapped the path of a sneeze that travels between a sick person and another wearing a shield, which is found on the forehead of barbers, bartenders, grocery shoppers, and travelers alike. .

Similar findings from the Swiss government revealed that an outbreak in a hotel in the Alps showed that those who wore only a face shield, without a mask, were more likely to get sick.

Face shields don’t block germ sprays and don’t hold them back. The open sides and the bottom of the visor allow particles to escape into the air. The Japanese study simulated a sneeze with droplets smaller than 5 microns to prove it.

Although carrying extra layers of protection may be safer, face shields, hazmat suits, and gloves can give a false sense of security.

The best bet to protect other people from infection is masks, according to scientists and public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to frequent hand washing or sanitizing.