What's the difference between a face shield and a face mask, and is it better at preventing the transmission of COVID-19?
THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hundreds of millions of Americans heeded recent government advice and rushed to wear cloth face masks, hoping they might prevent transmission of the new coronavirus.
But there's another option: The clear plastic face shield, already in use by many health care personnel.
Now, a team of experts say face shields might replace masks as a more comfortable and more effective deterrent to COVID-19.
"Face shields, which can be quickly and affordably produced and distributed, should be included as part of strategies to safely and significantly reduce transmission in the community setting," said a trio of physicians from the University of Iowa.
Reporting in the April 29 Journal of the American Medical Association, experts led by Dr. Eli Perencevich, of the university's department of internal medicine, and the Iowa City VA Health Care System, said the face shield's moment may have come.
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advocating the use of cloth masks to help stop COVID-19 transmission in April, laboratory testing "suggests that cloth masks provide [only] some filtration of virus-sized aerosol particles."