The snood that could mask you from infection

A germ-trapping 'snood'—a scarf that covers both the nose and the mouth — which claims to deactivate the coronavirus could be the latest way to protect yourself from the pandemic. 

Unlike ordinary masks, say researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the Virustatic Shield can be worn comfortably for hours at a time, and is reusable, washable and harmless to touch after being exposed to germs.

The key behind its effectiveness, says Professor Sabine Flitsch, who worked on the snood, is a special chemical coating on the fabric, which makes the virus stick to it, where it is then deactivated. 

The snood is coated with protein compounds similar to those found on the human upper respiratory tract — the series of passages running through the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat and windpipe — which help us fight off infections. 

Unlike ordinary masks, say researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the Virustatic Shield can be worn comfortably for hours at a time, and is reusable, washable and harmless to touch after being exposed to germs

Unlike ordinary masks, say researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the Virustatic Shield can be worn comfortably for hours at a time, and is reusable, washable and harmless to touch after being exposed to germs

'When a virus such as the c­oronavirus gets into a person's upper respiratory tract, chemicals on the virus particles bond with compounds in this protein layer — that's how the virus then begins to infect cells,' explains Dr Alan Green, a biologist and director of the company that makes the Virustatic Shield. 

'However, when the virus lands on the surface of the snood, although the same chemical reaction occurs, there are no cells to infect. It's just fabric. So the virus is deactivated immediately and dies. 

'This way it both protects people wearing it from inhaling anything, and prevents them from s­preading droplets outwards.' 

The reason this doesn't happen when the virus lands on a surface such as a table or a phone is because, without the protein layer, there are no chemical changes to the virus. So

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