By Tom Randall and Jason Gale
"Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government said itís reviewing recommendations on the use of surgical masks to protect health-care workers from flu after a study showed they donít help. Thicker, more expensive respirators should be used, the study found.
Surgical masks didnít stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses during a five-week study involving 1,936 health-care workers at 24 hospitals in Beijing last winter. Thicker versions designed to better fit the face, called N95 masks and made by 3M Co., reduced flu by 75 percent. The N95s cost 5 to 10 times more, said study author Raina MacIntyre, head of public health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. "
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