Coronavirus: Why Oral Nose Protection Is An Important Tool

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If you want to know how much the topic of mouth and nose protection still polarizes in Austria, you only have to take a train. Or in public transport in Vienna. On the ÖBB trains, for example, there is a requirement to wear a mask, but in some – well-staffed – wagons only about a third of the passengers wear face masks. If you talk to the train attendant about it, you don’t just get a shrugging “Who should I like?”

The obligation to wear a mask is also increasingly being interpreted at Vienna’s own discretion. So just do without it. And ignored the bad looks of the passengers. But generalizing such perceptions would be unfair. You can see the opposite: full tram cars, in which passengers cover their mouths and noses.

Scientifically proven benefits

Even if some find it uncomfortable, scientifically the benefit of mouth-nose protection is clear. Infected people (unknowingly) excrete a considerable amount of viruses before symptoms appear. A mask protects against infecting others. Epidemiologists and virologists agree that mouth-nose protection inhibits airflow when speaking, thereby curbing the transmission of infectious particles. Virologist Monika Redlberger-Fritz from the MedUni Vienna emphasizes: “It has been proven that this reduces the likelihood of transmission.”

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