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Is cloth mask effective against the omicron variant of Coronavirus?


Is cloth mask effective against the omicron variant of Coronavirus?


Medically Reviewed By
Dr Divya Rohra

Written By Meenakshi
on May 10, 2022

Last Edit Made By Meenakshi
on Feb 20, 2024

omicron variant of Coronavirus

The world is now in the third pandemic wave led by the Omicron variant. As with other Coronavirus variants, Omicron spreads rapidly. Unfortunately, it can even be transmitted through proper mask use which contributes to a confusing state of mind regarding what type of mask one should wear to prevent Coronavirus.

According to scientists and healthcare practitioners, cloth masks for preventing Coronavirus spread may not be practical due to the uncontrollable spread of cases. Conversely, some countries, such as Germany and Austria, emphasize the importance of surgical masks and N95 masks for preventing the spread of Coronavirus.

Find out if cloth masks are effective during this time and which type of mask you should use, so keep reading.

Cloth Mask- Pros And Cons

Cloth face masks may be popular in the first and second waves of the covid 19 pandemic. They have the following pros:

  • Fabrics like Cotton, Silk, Chiffon, Polyester, and even Polypropylene are readily available and reasonably priced.
  • Cloth masks provide comfort and breathability.
  • It is possible to reuse cloth masks. Every time you use a mask, you should wash it properly with detergent water or soapy water.

However, in the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, cloth masks pose the following cons:

  • They are ineffective at preventing small virus particles from getting into your nose or mouth.
  • It does not prevent the small droplets from escaping and infecting others, and doctors recommend switching from a single-layered cloth mask to at least a two- or three-layered face mask.
  • As a precaution against the most recent variant of Coronavirus, researchers recommend wearing single-layer cloth masks paired with surgical masks or respirator masks.
  • The Omicron variant has an extremely high transmission rate because of its unique mutations on the spike protein. Single-layer cloth masks are not as effective as blocking the larger pieces of aerosol carrying the virus, as seen in the case of Omicron.

Surgical Mask Or N95 Mask- Which Is Better??

After ruling out that the cloth mask has several cons, the question remains as to which mask will be the most effective at preventing transmission between the surgical mask and N95 mask.

A surgical mask's thickness and capacity to protect you against virus contact differ. When worn correctly, a surgical mask can help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatters that carry germs (viruses and bacteria), preventing them from reaching your mouth or nose.

On the other hand, N95 masks are helpful because of their fibers, they are tightly woven, and the mesh is held together by an electrostatic charge. Due to this, it is highly efficient at capturing and blocking larger-sized droplets and aerosols exhaled in the air.

Summing Up

Cloth masks won't cut with Omicron. To protect against the highly contagious variant, health experts recommend using three-ply surgical masks, KN95 masks, or N95 masks.

Nevertheless, Surgical masks may effectively block splashes and large particles and N95 masks are an excellent fit for the face and effective airborne particulate filtration.

Click Here To Read Our Other Article On Omicron Outbreak: 4 Steps To Avoid And 4 To Take Immediately


The blog content has been posted as a piece of information and awareness only. The content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not proposed and should not be taken as medical advice. Redcliffe Labs strongly recommends users to consult with their health care providers to make any medical or health-related decision.

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