Those crazy face masks Japanese wear in public? They work

japanesefacemasksWhile this post is actually just an excuse to show you this great picture – high stockings, cellphones, and vaguely menacing medical gear are so underrated – it’s now been proven that facemasks can and do prevent the spread of flu. Unfortunately, you have to wear them almost constantly, which is probably not so much fun.

Less than half of those asked to wear masks reported having done so consistently. However, adherence to preventative measures is known to vary depending on perception of risk and could be expected to increase during a respiratory disease pandemic.

The trial results are published this week in Emerging Infectious Diseases, the journal of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers say the findings have global implications and are particularly relevant to efforts to combat the spread of flu pandemics and other emerging respiratory diseases such as SARS.

So next time you’re screaming “You speak English? Take off that facemask!” (looking at you, TSA employees!) just remember that these folks have the right idea and you’ll probably die from SARS while they dance on your grave.