Research press release


Nature Communications

Epidemiology: Modelling the effectiveness of face masks

一般市民がマスクを着用することが、COVID-19の感染者と死者の総数を減らすために役立つ可能性のあることを示したモデル化研究がNature Communications に掲載される。今回の研究によれば、限定的な防御効果しかない布製フェイスマスクであっても、一般的に使用されれば、感染者と死者の総数を減らすために役立つ可能性があるとされる。

今回、Colin WorbyとHsiao-Han Changは、数理モデル化を行って、新型コロナウイルス感染症(COVID-19)が集団発生している時の一般集団におけるマスクの利用状況と配布状況の影響を調べた。この研究では、COVID-19の集団発生のシミュレーションが行われ、医療グレードの使い捨てマスクの供給量と有効性の設定を変えて、それぞれの場合の感染者と死者の総数が算出された。使用された全てのモデルにおいて、マスクの入手状況が好転し、マスクの有効性が高まると、死者と感染者の総数が減少することが分かった。




The use of face masks among the general public could help to reduce the total number of infections and deaths from COVID-19, according to modelling study published in Nature Communications. The study finds that even cloth face coverings with limited protective effect, when deployed universally, can help to reduce the total number of infections and deaths.

Colin Worby and Hsiao-Han Chang used mathematical modelling to examine the impact of face mask use and distribution among the general population during a coronavirus outbreak. The authors simulated outbreaks in which supply and effectiveness of disposable medical-grade masks varied and calculated the resulting total numbers of infections and deaths. Across the models used, they found the total number of deaths and infections decreased as mask availability and effectiveness increased.

The authors considered four distribution strategies for scenarios with a limited supply of disposable medical grade masks in the general population: random distribution, prioritized distribution to the elderly, distribution to the elderly and detected cases, and distribution to detected cases. In all of their models, it was assumed that healthcare workers and key personnel would have adequate protection. Here, the authors found that prioritizing the elderly and retaining a supply of surgical masks for identified infectious cases led to a larger reduction in total infections and deaths than random distribution.

When modelling the adoption of universal face coverings (reusable cloth face coverings), the authors found that the reduction in total deaths was comparable to that achieved with targeted distribution of disposable medical-grade masks, even when supplies of surgical masks were limited to 10% of the population. They found that universal cloth face coverings could lead to a 3–5% reduction in deaths, and additional targeted distribution of medical masks to the elderly and symptomatic may double this effect.

The authors conclude that face mask use is an important component of public health measures to limit the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. However, further studies are required to obtain improved estimates for mask effectiveness among the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17922-x

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