Researchers studying coronavirus have an intriguing new idea that face masks could be operating as a type of vaccine for coronavirus.
Let’s connect the dots.
Vaccines are not a modern development. The idea of exposing people to a less lethal form a disease to provoke an immune response has been around for hundreds of years. The most famous example being smallpox.
Recently, a group of researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine that face masks are doing the same thing, exposing the wearer to small amounts of the virus without making them seriously ill.
This theory is still unproven, but using data collected about coronavirus infections in animals, paired with what they already know about other viruses; these researchers think masks, while preventing us from inhaling most pathogens, can allow a small number to slip through, potentially forcing our immune systems to produce antibodies to coronavirus.
This theory could only be proven in clinical trials where you compare what happens to masks and unmasked participants when exposed to coronavirus.
Since that would be unethical we will probably never know if it is true, but researchers say this is more motivation to keep wearing those masks.
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