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Cluster randomised controlled trial
Hand hygiene and face mask use within 36 hours of index patient symptom onset reduces flu transmission to household contacts
  1. C Raina MacIntyre
  1. Correspondence to C Raina MacIntyre
    School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia; r.macintyre{at}

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This study is one of four published clinical trials of the use of face masks in community settings.1,,3 Cowling and colleagues used a prospective cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) design, identifying well families of index patients with flu confirmed by rapid testing from outpatient clinics in Hong Kong. Households were randomised to control (n=279), hand hygiene (n=257) or hand hygiene plus face masks (n=258). The masks used were medical/surgical ones. Outcomes measured for a follow-up period of 6 days were the development of clinical flu-like illness as measured by two …

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