What kind of mask provides protection from corona virus ?
Face mask has became a symbol of protection against Covid-19. Mask helps the wearer to help slow the spread of virus to others. Mask filters large particles found in air. It is helpful to protect others by reducing exposure of droplets or spray of saliva and respiratory secretions through mouth and nose while talking, sneezing or coughing. There are various types of masks used to cover face.
Below are some best commonly used face masks:
- Surgical mask
- FFP1 mask
- Active carbon mask
- Cotton mask
- Sponge mask
N95 respiratory mask provide the high level protection against the corona virus. However it is costly and uncomfortable to wear for long period time. It is mostly used by the health care workers who work with the patients. It provides 95% protection against the virus and 100% protection against bacteria, dust and pollution. Next comes the surgical mask, which protects 95% against virus and 80% against other factors. As there are shortage in supply of N95 and surgical mask, it is can be reserved for doctors and other health care providers. It is clear that the countries that implemented social distancing and wearing mask compulsory have slowdown the spread of virus. Cloth mask are easy to make and can be washed and reused. They are cheap and can be made in home itself. They must be made of multiple layers for best results.
How to use a face mask?
The advice on use of masks are explained as the guidelines given by the World Health Organization.
- Before wearing a mask wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Cover mouth and nose that there are no gap between the mask and face.
- Do not touch the mask while using and if it happens to touch wash the hands.
- Replace the mask if it becomes moist and dispose if it is use single use mask.
- While removing the mask remove it from behind the ears and do not touch the front part of mask.
- Dispose it in a closed bin after use. And then wash hands with soap and water or sanitizer.
Should mask be used in home ?
It is advised to wear mask in public places to prevent person to person transmission. However a report that is conducted in China says wearing face mask at home reduces the risk of Covid-19. It is said that it is 79% effective preventing transmission of virus. However, WHO does not endorse wearing mask in home.
Guidelines for using mask:
The department of Dubai supreme committee of crisis and disaster management has given some guidelines for using masks. This exemptions are based on to reduce the risk of wearing masks and also considering the situations.
- It is not necessary for children below age 6 to wear mask
- If you are driving your car alone, then it is not necessary to wear mask.
- If you are travelling in car with your family members or with the people you are staying together, then mask is not necessary.
- It is not necessary to wear mask while you involve in physical activities or exercise while indoor or outdoor. It creates bad impact on your health.
- When there is no one around you in public places, you do not need to wear a mask.
- When you are consulting your doctor, especially ENT specialist it is not necessary to wear mask. But do not forget to wear mask while you are travelling to hospital.
- It is not necessary to wear mask while you are getting a spa or facial in a beauty parlour.
Who should not wear a mask?
- Children below two years
- Anyone who has trouble in breathing, or is unconscious
- Anyone who need a assistance to remove a mask.
Risks and Side effects of wearing masks:
For normal persons it not a big deal to masks. But it is better to take breaks at safe areas. But eventually depending on the material of mask, may cause allergies, redness in skin and itchiness.
- It is harder to breathe for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis.
- Wearing the mask for long time cause health problems due to breathing more carbon dioxide that we exhale. It may cause dizziness. It also causes oxygen deficiency.
- Long time usage also can cause damage to lungs.
- The impact of masks depends on the person’s health, type of mask and time length of wearing.
- The CDC has recommended the general public to wear cloth masks, leaving N95 respirators and surgical masks for healthcare workers.
Best way to clean your face mask ?
It is advisable to wash the mask after each use.
- Soak the mask in regular detergent or a bleach solution for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in normal water.
- You can wash the mask with your regular laundry in your washing mashing.
- You can use your regular detergent with appropriate temperature that sets the mask.
- Allow the mask to dry completely in direct sunlight.
- Or if you are using a dryer use high heat setting and dry it completely.
As a conclusion wearing a mask helps the wearer to avoid spreading the virus unknowingly as the virus spread without symptoms in many. So wearing a cloth mask is advisable following the necessary precautions and social distancing.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy