An Italian laboratory has found that the reusable face mask created by an Israeli firm is effective in fighting the COVID-19 and H1N1 viruses.
According to the latest study conducted by the VisMederi Textyle, SonoMask can protect against the coronavirus' Alpha variant and eliminate up to more than 99.95% of its Delta variant, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Sonovia, the mask's manufacturer, is a Ramat Gan-based company founded in 2013.
Sonovia Founder Shuki Joshua Hershcovich told the news outlet that the findings has led to its stock to increase by almost 30%.
"We want to give our customers the security that they are wearing masks that work," Creative Director Jordan Fox said of the results.
"Our customers want tangible results and this is what we are giving them," Sonovia CEO Igal Zeitun added.
Liat Goldhammer-Steinberg, the company's chief technology officer, said that the laboratory will also test the mask's effectiveness against COVID's MU variant, the latest strain which was first discovered in Colombia and has since spread to more than 40 other countries. However, it was found to be less transmissible than the highly contagious Delta variant.
Professor Amos Adler, director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Tel Aviv University and consultant at the European Center for Disease Control, explained that the mask is effective against all variants of the coronavirus.
"COVID-19 variants might have different epidemiological or immunological properties that are the result of point mutations in critical areas of the receptor binding domain. Still, their overall structure and biophysical properties of the virus are almost identical. Hence, the antiviral effect exerted by the Sonovia-treated fabrics is expected to be present in all COVID-19 variants," Adler stated.
In 2020, SonoMask was already tested by China's ATCCR Testing laboratory and found it to be 99.34% effective against the novel coronavirus. The testing showed that the mask's fabric can neutralize the COVID virus within 30 minutes of contact. It can also maintain its protective properties throughout 55 washes.
"Following this outstanding result - the product of several months of dedicated anti-viral sonochemistry formulation - we can now assure the public that our SonoMask is working continuously, permanently and rapidly to neutralize the spread of COVID-19. We are proud of our latest accomplishment that will help people feel safe and protect their loved ones, all the while remaining the most ecologically sound option upon the PPE market," Hershcovich said at the time.
Sonovia began selling the mask in March 2020, after donating a large number of the product to hospitals in Israel and Germany, as well as to nonprofit charity organizations in France, Israel, Australia, Germany and South Africa.
Using an ultrasonic technology developed at Bar-Ilan University, the mask is injected with silver and zinc particles that kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. Further, it can prevent skin breakouts caused by the extended period of wearing face masks.
In addition to SonoMask, the company is also using the technology to its other products such as seat covers, pillow cases, bed sheets and clothing. The Delta Galil Industries, a clothing manufacturer of major brands like Victoria's Secret and Calvin Klein, has even partnered with Sonovia to create apparels that prevent odor.