Medical masks and their usefulness in preventing coronavirus

In late 2019, a new corona virus appeared in China. Since then, it has spread rapidly all over the world. This new coronary virus is called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called COVID-19.

While some people with COVID-19 suffer from mild illness, others may have difficulty breathing, pneumonia and even respiratory failure. Older individuals and people with basic health conditions are most at risk.

You may have heard a lot recently about the use of face masks to prevent infection. In fact, a recent study found that Google searches for face masks rose in Taiwan after the country’s first case of HIV infection, as well as in Arab countries, where demand for medical muzzles to prevent the virus has increased dramatically.

What are the three basic types of face masks?

When you hear about face masks for the prevention of COVID-19, they are generally three types:

  1. Homemade cloth face mask
  2. Surgical facial mask
  3. N95 mask

Face masks made of home cloth

To prevent the spread of the virus from people without symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that everyone wear cloth face masks, such as homemade face masks, while in public places where it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from others. This recommendation is in addition to the continuing social divergence and appropriate hygiene practices.

Recommendations include:

  • Wear cloth face masks in public places, especially in areas where the community is heavily moved, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Do not wear cloth face masks on children under the age of 2, people with difficulty breathing, people who have lost consciousness, or people who cannot remove the mask themselves.
  • Healthcare professionals should be very careful when using homemade face masks. It is best to use these masks in conjunction with a face protector that covers the entire front face and sides and extends to or below the chin.
  • Note: Wash homemade cloth masks after each use. When removed, make sure you don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands immediately after removing it.

Benefits of homemade face masks

Face masks made of cloth can be made at home from common materials, so there is an unlimited supply. It may reduce the risk of people moving without symptoms of the virus by talking, coughing or sneezing.

They are better than not using any mask and offer some protection, especially when it is difficult to maintain social spacing.

The dangers of homemade face masks

It may provide a false sense of security. While homemade face masks provide a degree of protection, they do provide much less protection than surgical masks or N95 masks. A 2008 study suggested that homemade face masks may be half as effective as surgical masks and up to 50 times less effective than N95 respirators.

They do not replace or reduce the need for other protective measures. Hygiene and social spacing are still the best way to keep you safe.

Surgical masks

Surgical masks are disposable loose face masks covering the nose, mouth and chin. Its features include:

  1. Protect the wearer from spray, stains and drops of large particles
  2. Prevent the spread of potential infectious respiratory secretions from wearers to others

Surgical masks can vary in design, but the mask itself is often flat and rectangular with folds. The top of the mask has a metal band that can be formed to fit the shape of the nose.

Flexible laces or long straight ties help surgically hold the mask in place while wearing it. They can be either knitted behind the ears or tied behind the head.

N95 Mask

The N95 respirator is a more compact face mask. In addition to stains, sprays and large droplets, this respiratory system can also filter 95 percent of very small particles. This includes viruses and bacteria.

In general, the mask is in a circular or oval shape, and is designed to form an airtight seal on the face. Flexible ligaments help to hold them firmly on the face. Some types may contain a supplement called exhalation valve, which can help with breathing and accumulation of heat and moisture.

N95 respirators are not one size fits all. They should actually be tested before use to make sure they are suitable for a person’s face. If the mask is not effectively fixed on the face, it will not get proper protection.

After the convenience test, N95 respirator users should continue to perform a seal check every time they wear them. It is also important to note that an airtight seal cannot be achieved in some groups. These include children and people with facial hair.

Comparison of surgical masks and N95 surgical respirators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates surgical masks and N95 surgical respirators differently based on the intended use.

A surgical mask is a loose device that can be disposed of and creates a physical barrier between the wearer’s mouth and nose and potential pollutants in the immediate environment. They are often referred to as face masks, although not all face masks are regulated as surgical masks.

The N95 respirator is a respiratory protection device designed to achieve a very close fit of the face and highly effective filtration of airborne particles. The edges of the ventilator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth. Surgical N95 respirators are commonly used in health care settings and are a subset of N95 facial filter respirators (FFRs), often referred to as N95s.

The similarities between surgical masks and surgical N95s are:

They are tested for fluid resistance, filtration efficiency (particle filtration efficiency, bacterial filtration efficiency), flammability and biocompatibility. They should not be shared or reused.

Can you wear a face mask protection against coronary viruses for 2019?

Coronavirus spreads from person to person through small respiratory drops. They are produced when a person infected with the virus exhales, coughs or sneezes. The virus can be infected if a person breathes these drops.

In addition, respiratory drops containing the virus can land on different objects or surfaces. Touching a contaminated body or surface and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth can lead to infection.

Homemade face masks

Homemade face masks provide only a small degree of protection, but may help prevent the spread of coronavirus from people with no symptoms. The CDC recommends that they be used in public places, as well as the practice of social spacing and appropriate hygiene.

Surgical masks

Surgical masks cannot fully protect against covid-19 infection. The mask not only filters the spray particles in the air, but also air leakage occurs through the sides of the mask.

N95 Mask

N95 respirators can protect against smaller respiratory drops, such as those containing SARS-CoV-2. However, there are many points to pay attention to in order to get the full benefit of them, including:

  • N95 respirators should be tested for appropriate use. A weak seal can lead to leakage, reducing the effectiveness of the mask.
  • Due to its narrow measurement, N95 respirators can become uncomfortable and irritating, making them difficult to wear for long periods of time.

Other effective ways to prevent COVID-19

Remember that there are other effective ways besides using face masks to prevent COVID-19. These include:

  • Clean your hands frequently. And use soap and water or alcoholic hand sanitizer.

Practice social spacing. Avoid contacting sick people and stay at home if there are many COVID-19 cases in your community.

  • Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose

How to use a surgical mask if you have the Coronavirus 2019

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home except for receiving medical attention. If you live with others or visit a health care provider, wear a surgical mask if available.

Remember that while surgical masks do not protect against corona virus, they can help trap infectious respiratory secretions. This can be a vital tool to help prevent the virus from spreading to others in your surroundings.

So, how do you use the surgical mask properly? Follow the following steps:

  1. Clean your hands, either by washing with water and soap or by using an alcohol-containing hand sanitizer.
  2. Before wearing the mask, check it to make sure there are no holes.
  3. Select the metal tape in the mask. This is the top of the mask.
  4. Face the mask so that the colored side is oriented outward or away from you.
  5. Place the top of the mask on the bridge of your nose, and the shape of the metal tape in the shape of your nose.
  6. Carefully hold the elastic ligaments behind your ears or tie long straight ties behind your head.
  7. Pull the bottom of the mask down, making sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  8. Try to avoid touching the mask while wearing it. If you have to touch or adjust the mask, be sure to clean your hands immediately.
  9. To remove the mask, unscrew the bands from behind your ears or untie the ties behind your head. Avoid touching the front of the mask, which may be contaminated.
  10. Get rid of the mask immediately in a closed garbage can, and clean your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Use of surgical masks at covid-19 time

Here are some best practices to consider for face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Wear a surgical mask only if you are currently ill with COVID-19 or you are caring for someone at home who cannot wear the mask.

Surgical masks are disposable. Don’t reuse it.

Change the surgical mask if it becomes damaged or wet.

Always remove the surgical mask in the closed garbage container after removing it.

Clean your hands before applying the surgical mask and after taking it off. In addition, clean your hands if you touch the front of the mask while wearing it.

Should I wear a mask if I’m taking care of someone who might have COVID-19?

If you are taking care of someone who has COVID-19 at home, there are steps you can take with regard to surgical masks, gloves and cleaning. Aims to do the following:

Isolate them in a separate area away from the house, and it is best to provide them with a separate bathroom as well.

Get a number of surgical masks that they can wear, especially if they’re around others.

Some people with COVID-19 may not be able to wear a surgical mask because it may make breathing more difficult. If this is the case, you should wear a medical mask when you help take care of them in the same room.

Use disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry. Dispose of the gloves in a closed trash can after use and wash your hands immediately.

Clean your hands frequently with water, soap or alcohol-containing hand sanitizer. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.

Remember to clean high-touch surfaces daily. This includes door handles, keyboards.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings, such as homemade face masks, in public places where it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from others.

Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice proper social spacing and hygiene. Seized surgical masks and N95 respirators for hospitals and healthcare workers.

N95 respirators can protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection when used properly.