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Evidence summary for face mask use by healthy people in the community – HIQA

National and international public health guidance is based on low certainty direct evidence of clinical effectiveness and indirect evidence that supports the plausibility of effectiveness of face masks.

https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2020-08/Evidence-summary-face-masks-in-the-community.pdf

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Face Mask Use and Control of Respiratory Virus Transmission in Households – NCBI (2009)

The key findings are that <50% of participants were adherent with mask use and that the intention-to-treat analysis showed no difference between arms. Although our study suggests that community use of face masks is unlikely to be an effective control policy for seasonal respiratory diseases, adherent mask users had a significant reduction in the risk for clinical infection. Another recent study that examined the use of surgical masks and handwashing for the prevention of influenza transmission also found no significant difference between the intervention arms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662657/