Do Face Masks Protect From Coronavirus?
Topic material and references:
– World health organization.
As the latest discovered coronavirus Covid-19 continues to spread, using a face mask became essential to protect yourself and other people in your surrounding. But which type of masks protect from coronavirus, who should wear them and when or how to discard a mask, are all questions that we will answer in this article.
Who should wear a face mask?
U.S center for disease control and prevention stated that masks shouldn’t be worn by healthy people who doesn’t suffer from diseases, because the masks can infect them, if not used properly.
The center also stated that masks should be worn by people who have been exposed to infection, people who are showing symptoms, and others who are in direct contact with infected people or patients.
Wearing a face mask help prevent the infection in crowded places, like transportation buses, metros, etc.
Do face masks protect from coronavirus?
The type of mask and used materials determine how effective it is in preventing the infection. Some masks can’t protect from coronavirus as they were designed to be worn in dust and protect from pollen. For example, the generally available masks can protect you by only 71 to 90 %, depending on the material and flow rate, where the N95 face mask that is used for coronavirus and other respiratory diseases, provide excellent protection because it can filter up to 95% of the smallest, infectious particles.
The world health organization stated that:
– Face masks should be fitted properly around the nose and mouth, leaving no gaps between the mask and your face.
– Masks are not effective for people with facial hair.
– You shouldn’t touch the mask with your hands while wearing it.
– Masks should be safely discarded in closed container or plastic bag.
– Masks should be changed immediately when they are damp, to ensure they can protect from coronavirus and not cause additional infection.
– Hands should be sanitized before wearing the mask, to not transfer the virus to the mask, and sanitized again after discarding the mask.
What are the risks associated with wearing a face mask?
– It gives a false sense of security while it may offer only 70% protection.
– You may think it fully protects you and forget the basic protective steps, like hand washing or sanitizing.
– Knowing that masks protect from coronavirus may encourage you to touch your face, or the mask itself, ignoring the severe consequences of such action.
– Not all people know how to use masks and dispose them properly. So they can pick up the infection from the mask itself.
– Some people wear the mask and then shift it a little to the forehead, or under the chin, when they are alone to breathe some air. So they either contaminate the mask, or get their hands contaminated from it, or they forget and touch their face with unwashed hands.
– If the mask is not comfortable, the wearer tend to loosen it. This frequent action is very dangerous due to the above reason.
– When healthy people wear masks, or simply when they don’t need them, they deplete the stock in pharmacies and other places where healthcare work and real patients need them.