Jerusalem: The widespread use of face masks outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to 65 per cent reduction in serious asthma cases that required hospitalisation, according to a study.
Face masks also helped decrease the spread of viruses such as the flu in the past year, researchers from Israel's Sheba Medical Centre were quoted as saying by Times of Israel.
By wearing masks, people are also less likely to suffer from seasonal allergies, as face coverings prevent pollen from flowers, trees, and grass coming into contact with the nose and mouth.
Israel recently lifted the nationwide mandate on mask-wearing outdoors. However, masks must still be worn in public spaces indoors, and the Health Ministry also recommended they continue to be worn outdoors in large gatherings, the report said.
Wearing masks during the pandemic reduced cases of flu this year and also reportedly affected the first-quarter profit of Swiss drugmakers Novartis and Roche.