Corona Virus and Face Mask: Types and When to Use
New ideas are arising every day on what is the best way to protect against COVID-19 and how it is spreading. Until now the best way of protection is to wash hands properly, practice physical distancing, and wear a face mask. However, wearing a cloth mask or covering mouth by hand cannot be observed as a protection measure against COVID-19.
During this pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend people use a face mask to cover the mouth and nose while they are out. As the face mask is in high demand and to fulfill the demand people with sewing machines making a face mask. We have a lot of options in the range of prices and fabrics. Some are more comfortable but we may not know which one is actually protecting us from COVID-19.
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What types of face maks work best?
Respirators mask are which are made from tangles fibers with fit and seal tested are highly effective in filtering pathogens in the air. This mask must meet rigorous filtration standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It is estimated coronavirus has about 125 nanometers (nm) diameter. Keep in mind the following points about which respirator mask is safe.
- Certified N95 respirator mask can filter 98 percentage of particles that hare 100 to 300 nm in size.
- N99 respirator mask has an ability of 99 percentage to filter these particles.
- N100 respirator mask has the ability to filter 99.7 percent particles.
Some of these respirators willow exhales air to get out which makes it easier to breathe. But, those exhaled air may be susceptible to other people. Mainly frontline healthcare and other workers who work in hospitals wear this type of mask. But nowadays many public started to use this mask because of this pandemic.
Surgical masks are widely used disposable masks which are made of rectangular shape. This mask uses nonwoven fabric created using the melt blowing process. These masks will expand to cover the nose, mouth, and jawline. Surgical masks are composed of breathable synthetic fabric and easy to breathe then respirator mask. According to research, surgical masks have the strength to filter 80 to 85 percent of particles. Surgical masks do not have to meet NIOSH standards.
This maks is design to prevent catching bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer’s mouth and nose. A surgical mask is not designed to protect the wearer from breathing in airborne bacteria whole particles are smaller.
Cloth Masks are less effective and have more gaps to noose, cheeks, and jaw where tiny droplets can inhale or exhale. The fibers of the cloth mask are too loosely woven to be effective. It may be easy to breathe and use but if the maks have no tight seal around the edges, all air will start to come through the edge of your mask. So, cloth maks it generally not recommend and it is not safe during this pandemic.
Importance of face mask in this pandemic?
With the new virus called COVID-19 or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a large amount of viral shedding or diffusion happens early in the course of the disease. Therefore people may be epizootic before they start to show its symptoms. According to scientist, up to 80 percent of transmission stems from asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Emerging research said that proper use of masks helps to break the chain of the virus. It is possible that SARS-CoV 2 does not show symptoms at the first show it is best to wear a face-covering both nose and mouth. A mask helps to hold small droplets that arise from mouths while we sneezing or coughing. If you have coronavirus and not sowing symptoms, face mask plays a very important role in decreases a chance of growing the infection to others. And if you are not contaminated then the mask will protect you from getting contaminated droplets inside you.
Things to be considered while buying a mask
Particulate Matter Size That It can Filter
Particulate matter is the suspended matter in the air according to size causes the damage. For example. PM 10 and above gets filtered at the level of nose because of filters in our nose. These kinds of particles only cause some irritation on the eyes, nose, and throat. But particles between 2.5 to 10 will not able to filter by the nose and go inside the lungs. Less than 2.5 PM particles then go deeper inside the lung and travel to a different part of the body through blood circulation and particle less than 1 micron directly go into the bloodstream.
Masks are available with different size filers and while buying you should keep in mind the how much particle mask can filter. Some masks can filter up to 2.5 PM while others may be capable to filter till 0.3.
The mask you are buying should be certified by the government agency or certified organization. As per American guidelines, N98 and N99 are authorized quality of the mask. N95 mask means 95 percent of PM and N99 means 99 percent of PM will be prevented to go inside our body.
Fit of the Mask
A mask should fit in our face well on the nasal bridge and cover all nose and mouth. If a mask is not fit in your mouth then the small droplet may come and go out from nose and mouth. The mask should have perfect ear loops or ties to adjust nicely. Always prefer those maks which have a bendable border at the top so it will sit fixed in your face.