Don Milton Explains the Benefits of Face Masks to the Wall Street Journal
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation last Friday for Americans to wear face masks in public, Don Milton, professor of environmental health, helped The Wall Street Journal readers understand the benefits of wearing masks.
Milton said even if the benefits are modest, it's worth wearing a mask.
"We're in a situation where any little bit makes a difference," Milton told the Journal.
Surgical masks should be reserved for health-care workers due to shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported, but other kinds of masks can be worn.
Milton says it's unclear how well homemade masks work, but they could offer a modest level of protection. However, they should not replace social distancing or offer a false sense of security, the Journal reported.
Milton said the biggest benefit of wearing a mask is protecting others from yourself in the event that you are sick or asymptomatic, like protecting the grocery clerks when you go to a grocery store.
Because coronavirus transmission can occur through asymptomatic carriers, universal mask-wearing could help.
Milton is an infectious disease aerobiologist and runs the Public Health Aerobiology, Virology and Exhaled Biomarker Laboratory in the School of Public Health.