How do N95 respirators compare to medical masks for preventing viral respiratory infections in healthcare workers?

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Why is this study important?

With the rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19, appropriate use and conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly N95 respirators, has become a major concern. Unlike standard medical masks, N95 respirators are specifically designed to prevent inhalation of small airborne particles by their tight fit to optimize facial seal and the filtration test requirements. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) all recommend the N95 respirators for high-risk exposures such as aerosol-generating procedures including intubation and bronchoscopy. This review compares N95 respirators to medical masks for preventing viral respiratory infections in healthcare workers.

Which, if any, threats to validity are most likely to have an impact on the results and how?

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