Scientists who study the transmission of respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, say that infections typically happen when a healthy person comes into contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze or breath.
Wearing a mask disrupts the trajectory of a cough, sneeze or breath and captures some respiratory droplets before they can spew out.
A mask can also prevent large infectious droplets from landing on the nose and mouth, even though it provides minimal protection against inhaling the smaller droplets.
Wearing a mask can help protect yourself and others. So if you do need to leave home, wear a mask and be sure to keep your distance.