If my face mask gets wet, is its efficacy in preventing the spread of coronavirus diminished? If so, how much?

It's monsoon season here in India, and my method of transportation (safer than crowded bus) is by cycle. As such, I cannot use an umbrella and it's basically impossible to keep my mask dry when going out for essentials (eg going to the government immigration office as required by the State).

Have there been any studies that show the fractional collection efficiency (of ~0.01 to ~2 micron-sized particles) of any of:

  1. Common cotton face masks
  2. N95 Respirators
  3. 3-ply surgical masks


  1. They're dry,
  2. They're damp, and
  3. They're soaking wet?

1 Answer 1


This paper tested Ebola penetration of wet and dry surgical masks and N95 respirators. It found, "A difference in virus penetration was observed between dry (5%, 1/21 tests) and saturated (33%, 7/21 tests) samples of PPE."

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