This rapid expert consultation responds to a request from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) concerning the effectiveness of homemade fabric masks worn by the general public to protect others, as distinct from protecting the wearer. The request stems from an interest in reducing transmission within the community by individuals who are infected, potentially contagious, but symptomatic or presymptomatic.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a standing committee of experts to help inform OSTP on critical science and policy issues related to emerging infectious diseases and other public health threats. The standing committee includes members with expertise in emerging infectious diseases, public health, public health preparedness and response, biological sciences, clinical care and crisis standards of care, risk communication, and regulatory issues.
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