FFP3 masks can provide up to 100% protection against COVID
A high grade mask known as an FFP3 can provide up to 100% protection to medical workers, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust research has found. FFP3 masks have a close fit and are specifically designed to filter out aerosols.
There is a far greater chance of staff wearing standard issue surgical masks catching COVID-19 virus, research found, BBC reports.
The data was gathered during a programe of regular testing for Covid at the trust. The results are published in a pre-print paper that has not been peer-reviewed.
A risk that was up to 47 times higher
The study found that staff caring for Covid patients in isolated wards faced a risk that was up to 47 times higher than those on non-Covid wards.
Lead researcher Dr Mark Ferris, a specialist in occupational health at the hospital, said staff were getting Covid despite doing everything they were asked to in terms of infection control. When the second wave of the pandemic started to hit last December, managers in Cambridge made a local decision to upgrade the protection in COVID wards.
The only thing left to try that could make a difference was FFP3 respirators, and they did," Dr Ferris said.