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The importance of wearing face masks for preventing transmission of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is essential. The WHO recommends the use of face masks in communities and health care settings during home care in areas that have reported a spurt in the case of the novel coronavirus. While there are so many different types of face masks available in the market it can be difficult to select the appropriate one. Check out the different types of face masks and when should you use one.
You need to wear a face mask when you are travelling outside or stepping out of your home to buy goods and essentials including groceries. Also if you are taking care of a sick person or a person coronavirus infected person then also you should wear at least a 3-layer mask or N-95 mask. This might help in containing the spread of virus and germs. And if you use face masks in combination with the hand hygiene by washing hands or using a sanitizer along with respiratory hygiene by wearing face masks, it will help in containing the spread of virus infection.
COVID-19 or coronavirus spreads from one person to another through the discharge of droplets from the nose or mouth while sneezing or coughing. If you inhale these droplets, you can catch the virus infection. Also, if you touch surfaces or objects where these droplets might have fallen, and then you touch your face, mouth, eyes, or nose, it can lead to the contraction of the virus. There are different types of face masks that are available such as N95 respirator masks, surgical masks, or the homemade face masks.
To solve this confusion all the three type of masks are explained in detail below. Their effectiveness, protection offers, and functionality in different environments is important to understand. Check out the details as mentioned below:
The N95 respirator mask is mostly recommended to contain the spread of Coronavirus across the world. In comparison to other masks it has tight-fitting and can filter 95% of viruses and bacteria that are small particles causing transmission of the disease.
N95 Respirator Mask works as a barrier to large droplets from an infected person’s mouth and restricts the transmission in several ways as listed under:
Surgical masks are preferable for daily use as they are disposable and have a loose-fitting. It is recommended to buy a 3-layered surgical mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin. These masks are used by healthcare professionals.
Use of surgical mask is approved by the US FDA. It is cost-effective and helps in the air-borne transmission of viruses or bacteria. By wearing this mask you can ensure protection against spreading of COVID-19 to others:
Surgical masks are available in different sizes and shapes and are available everywhere. The online limitation is that you cannot use them again and they might not protect against airborne infectious diseases. But they do offer preliminary protection against the spread of coronavirus.
Similar to the surgical masks, homemade face masks also offer protection against the spread of COVID-19. They can easily be made at home using cloth fabric. They are also available in different sizes and prints. They offer limited protection but are useful in limiting the spread of coronavirus. It is essential to wash and dry the face mask every time you reuse it.
It helps in filtering out 50% of illness causing viruses and bacteria’s. Some of the other benefits of cloth made face masks are given below:
However, these homemade face masks are not advisable for healthcare professionals or those in direct contact with coronavirus affected persons or working in COVID-19 facility. They are required to wear the prescribed N-95 masks only, which is a part of the PPE Kit as well.
For anyone taking coronavirus treatment in a hospital the cost of masks is additional and may not be borne by the insurer. Therefore, there are health plans that have been launched like corona Kavach health plan and corona Rakshak health plans that cover the cost of PPE kits, masks, gloves, oximeters, etc. so make sure that you wear a face mask as per the guidelines and have an adequate health insurance cover to enjoy full protection from COVID-19 pandemic.
It is recommended to wear a surgical and N95 respirator masks by healthcare professionals or anyone who needs to visit a medical facility frequently or treat a sick person. A face mask can be worn in routine public settings along with social distancing norms. If you wear the right kind of face mask and follow ways of COVID-19 prevention methods it is possible to combat the outbreak. If there are not many people around you, you can also wear handkerchiefs or cloth mask to cover your face.