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How virus-proof is your mask? Scientist tracks the growth of micro-organisms after coughing into a petri dish through different face coverings

Face coverings may be compulsory in more places now than ever — but how much protection do they really afford to people around you?

‘A face covering should help minimise the spread of micro-organisms (including the Covid-19 virus) by the wearer,’ says Val Edwards-Jones, an emeritus professor of medical microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘During coughing, talking or sneezing, tiny droplets that may contain the virus are expelled from the mouth and will be absorbed into the mask fabric, rather than being transmitted to others.’

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