The WHO keeps reminding the public that the mask must be worn correctly and kept clean to ensure that it effectively fights the virus.
It’s been four long months since the world came to a standstill due to the novel Corona Virus. People have locked their doors and stay inside. This gave governments and medical institutions time to put their house in order and take care of the constant flow of infected patients who pour in every day.
With viral transmission under control and Economies are buckling under pressure Of the decommissioned industries, countries are considering lifting restrictions.
However, the gradual lifting of restrictions has led to an increase in cases. New Zealand, which had successfully eradicated the virus, has seen an increase in new cases, along with China, Iran and Japan, to name a few.
This means that your best defense against coronavirus infection is to wear a mask when the lock is unlocked. But how do you choose the right mask?
Why masks are important
COVID-19 is believed to spread through microdroplets released when an infected person breathes, sneezes or coughs and can enter the body through the eyes, mouth and nose. To stop this spread, health workers wear Personal protective equipment (PPE) with dress, helmet, gloves, safety glasses, face mask, respiratory masks, overshoes and a visor for eye protection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing hands often and don’t touch your face is the best way to avoid infection. A mask can help stop the spread, but hygiene is the key to avoiding it from occurring in the first place.
“While simple medical masks and fabric masks are not meant to filter out the virus, the likelihood of getting an infection decreases dramatically when two people wear masks and distance themselves physically,” says Dr. Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist at the Hinduja Hospital.
WHO officials are constantly reminding the public that masks must be worn correctly and kept clean to ensure that they effectively stop the virus from spreading.
“People can become infected if they adjust a mask with contaminated hands or if they repeatedly take on and off,” said the Director General of WHO Tedros Adhanom clarified. “I can’t say this clearly enough, masks alone won’t protect you from COVID-19.”
“With a virus like COVID-19, in which people can spread the disease in the pre-symptomatic stage, wearing a mask is the responsibility. Even a simple medical mask or fabric mask can stop the droplets well and reduce the spread. “Said Pinto.
What should I look for when buying a mask?
The WHO estimates that around 89 million medical masks are needed worldwide each month as the pandemic continues to spread. A Report of the World Economic Forum lists three types of masks that are most commonly used – surgical masks, respirators, and fabric facewear.
However, it is necessary to look for a mask that is suitable for you and offers you sufficient protection against the virus, a Reads John’s Hopkin blog post. It should also cover your nose and mouth.
For my friends who wear glasses like me and struggle with the constant fogging of our lenses, choose a mask with a clip that can be bent on the bridge of the nose. This prevents your glasses from fogging up.
Different mask types
There are many different mask options available to meet everyone’s needs. They vary in size, type, prices and the protection they offer.
If you’re wondering what the “N” stands for on some masks, they’re for “respirators if they’re not oil resistant.” They are marked with “R” if a mask is somewhat oil-resistant, and with “P” if it is highly resistant or oil-resistant. “
A N99 particle filter mask can capture at least 99 percent of the airborne particles. Similar to the N99, the N95 breathing apparatus filters out 95 percent of the airborne particles. Unlike some of the more powerful masks, the N99 and N95 are not oil resistant.
Surgical masks are usually worn by doctors or healthcare workers and prevent bacteria, splashes of droplets, liquids, water, etc. from getting into the mouth and nose. They consist of three layers of material, one of which is a filter that can trap microbes that enter or exit the body. However, they do not offer protection to the wearer from bacteria or viruses in the air, which are usually much smaller.
Activated carbon / charcoal masks can act as a strong primary defense against air pollution and some airborne diseases. You use the Principle of adsorption, where charged particles in the mask act like tiny magnets for charged chemicals in pollutants and pathogens. Activated carbon / charcoal masks keep bacteria and fungi well away, but do not filter viruses such as COVID-19 effectively.
The WHO says there was limited evidence of effectiveness of non-medical fabric masks and they do not recommend their use. However, they can prove useful in situations where masks are not available or physical distance and other public controls cannot be implemented. These masks should cover the person’s nose, mouth, and chin and be secured with elastic loops or ties that hold the edges of the mask in place.
There are more than a few online tutorials that will show you how to make your own mask. However, there are a few things to consider when using a homemade fabric or cotton mask. It should have an inner layer of absorbent material such as cotton, a middle layer of non-woven material such as polypropylene and an outer layer of non-absorbent material such as polyester or polyester blend.
“Homemade masks can also help prevent and protect you from spreading, while still following social blocking practices and other preventive measures even after the block is removed,” said Dr. Anand Bhabhor, additional director of intensive care medicine at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Center.
Also read: Another bites the dust as scientists target a new coronavirus study that was published in a major science journal – PNAS
Dispose of a used mask
When removing a mask – any type of mask – be careful not to touch the front of the mask as it contains the highest dose of contaminants. If you touch the mask, wash your hands immediately or use a hand disinfectant. Don’t let the mask rest on your chin or stick your nose out as this will nullify the whole purpose of wearing a mask.
The use of a reusable mask is recommended for non-infected people. You can wash it with soap and water and then set the mask to dry. Alternatively, you can wash it in the washing machine or by hand with gloves in a solution of bleach and water. Washed once IThe Indian Medical Research Council recommends Continue treating the mask with heat – by drying or ironing it in the sun. It is also recommended to cut non-reusable masks before disposal to prevent them from being reused.
The The Union Ministry of Health and Family Care has published guidelines It states that masks used by patients / caregivers / close contacts during home care should be disinfected with ordinary bleaching solution (five percent) or sodium hypochlorite solution (one percent) and then disposed of either by burning or burying them in the ground prevent infection of other people.
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