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Experiment shows how mask can prevent bacteria spread

Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 8:32 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Despite recommendations from health officials, many people aren’t so convinced about the effectiveness of wearing a mask. So, I met with Dr. Tanya Sysoeva at UAH to carry out an experiment that would showcase how covering your face can indeed prevent the spread of bacteria.

The experiment involved talking, singing and coughing into several petri dishes first without wearing a mask and then while wearing a mask. Dr. Sysoeva properly labeled each petri dish based on what test I had carried out and placed all of them in an incubator where they would stay for several days.

One week later, Dr. Sysoeva and I headed back into the labs at UAH to retrieve our petri dishes and see how bacteria growth was impacted by mask versus no mask.

Sure enough, tests that had been conducted without wearing a mask showed bacteria growth, but those that had been conducted while wearing a mask did not.

Now, you might be thinking... “This experiment showed the spread of bacteria, but COVID-19 is a virus?” That’s correct! However, a virus needs some kind of living cell to grow, so it would have been difficult to replicate that in this experiment.

Regardless, both bacteria and viruses can spread through respiratory droplets, so the experiment still provides a solid visual for how COVID-19 can spread.

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