How Can A Disposable Face Mask Save Us From COVID-19?

disposable face mask

You see it everywhere – people all over the world wearing face masks for almost two years now. Some countries, like the US, even have public disputes with others refusing to wear them. Is it really necessary to fight this coronavirus pandemic? Can disposable face masks, or any masks for that matter, help eradicate this more than a year-long pandemic? Let us understand how COVID-19 spreads and what effect do face masks have on this viral infection.

COVID-19 Outbreak

surgical face masksA new coronavirus was discovered in China in late 2019. It has swiftly spread around the world since then. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the new coronavirus, and COVID-19 is the illness it causes.

While some people with COVID-19 may have a minor sickness, others may have breathing problems, pneumonia, or even respiratory collapse. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems are the most vulnerable to more severe complications and furthering any serious illness because of the virus.

Do Disposable Masks have Anything to Do with It?

You may have lately heard a lot about the use of face masks to prevent illness. Indeed, following the country’s first imported case, Google searches for face masks increased in Taiwan, according to recent research.

Types of Face Masks

So, how effective are face masks, and when should you use them?

When it comes to COVID-19 preventive face masks, there are three main types:

Cloth face masks

Some environmentalists swore by the fact that cloth masks work just as efficiently as disposable face masks, but without the waste pollution that goes hand-in-hand with the latter. In fact, the CDC recommends wearing cloth masks in crowded places where social distancing deems impossible. Homemade cloth masks should follow these criteria for them to successfully protect the wearers from not just the virus, but also from any microorganisms that cause infection and illness.

  • Wear them regularly when in public places, such as your neighbourhood, community markets, and grocery stores.
  • The fabric used in making the cloth masks need to have thick layers that enable them to block light. This ensures that multiple layers can effectively block any droplets to come out and getting transmitted to the wearer.
  • If possible, choose a cloth face mask with a nose wire for tight-fitting.

Surgical face masks

You can find almost everyone in the news, movies, and TV shows wearing them. Surgical face masks have this reputation of providing protection to all health care workers in and out of the hospitals. Its blue non-woven fabric with white borders definitely makes the impression of sanitary and clean.

Many doctors, scientists, and healthcare workers give points to remember when wearing this type of disposable mask.

  • It should cross your nose and lips loosely. These masks protect against big droplets from a sick person’s cough or sneeze, but they can have a fit that feels too loose to keep all germs out.
  • The non-woven material has to have multiple layers.
  • For the surgical mask to fit perfectly, it has to have a nose wire.

Unfortunately, though, they cannot stop the community transmission of the smallest coronavirus-carrying particles on their own. Wearers of surgical masks need additional preventive measures to effectively protect themselves from this viral pandemic.

Mask respirators (N95 respirator)

n95 respiratorsMany manufacturers have come up with different forms of respirators just to make sure that everyone can access them during this coronavirus outbreak. KN95, KF94, and any other type of single-use face mask you can see and can buy in bulk quantities. However, one face mask stood out from the rest – the N95 respirator.

When a wearer inhales with the N95 respirator, it can filter out even minute particles, providing better protection than a medical mask.

Because not all countries have abundant supplies of N95 masks, the CDC recommends reserving their use for healthcare workers. Before wearing an N95 mask, health care workers must know and pass the fit test. N95 mask manufacturers designed these as disposable or single0use only. Researchers are, however, finding out ways on how to clean and reuse them to reduce waste.

Some N95 face masks, as well as some cotton masks, contain valves and other styles that make breathing easier for the one wearing them. Some also have pairs of elastic ear loops that make wearing them comfortable for long hours. Unfortunately, a face mask can only filter air efficiently for a specific amount of time, with or without an elastic ear loop.

Moreover, masks with valves allow the air that the wearer exhales to stay unfiltered by these masks. As a result, many have outlawed the use of these respirators and recommend sticking to other masks.

Wearing Disposable Face Masks: What else can You do?

Remember that there are more efficient ways to avoid being ill with COVID-19 besides using face masks.

These are some of them:

Wash your hands regularly. Hands should be washed with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Practice social or physical distancing. If your neighborhood has a high number of COVID-19 cases, avoid contact with ill people and stay at home.

Do not touch your face. Remember that you can transmit the virus when you cough or sneeze. You can also get the virus through your hands as you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. So, as much as possible, only use clean hands to touch your face or lips.

Need to know a supplier of high-quality face masks? Look no further than Critical Dental! Let one of our friendly representatives advise you on the best options available. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (02) 8883 0674.

References:

Can Face Masks Protect You from the 2019 Coronavirus? What Types, When, and How to Use

https://www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-mask

Coronavirus Face Masks: What You Should Know

https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus-face-masks#1

How well do face masks protect against coronavirus?

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

Types of Masks and Respirators

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/types-of-masks.html

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