Does Wearing A Mask Protect You From The Flu And Different Viruses?

Does Wearing A Mask Protect You From The Flu And Different Viruses?

When the United States skilled an outbreak of the swine flu in 2009, everyone was speaking about the right way to reduce the spread of the virus.

In keeping with the Centers for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, vaccine availability was restricted that yr because the virus wasn’t identified till producers had already started producing the annual vaccine.

So, individuals began doing something most of us hadn’t really seen before to stop transmission: wearing surgical face masks.

But with the latest spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, persons are once more seeking to surgical face masks as a way of protecting themselves and others from the virus, which causes the illness COVID-19.

However does wearing a face mask really stop the spread of viruses, such as the flu or SARS-CoV-2?

We’ll take a look at suggestions from consultants, unpack the research on which masks are best, and explain the way to use masks properly.


Within the case of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the CDCTrusted Source notes that:

"CDC doesn't recommend that people who find themselves well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, together with COVID-19. You need to only wear a masks if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask needs to be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms."

The CDCTrusted Source recommends healthcare workers wear face masks when working with patients who have the flu.

The CDC additionally recommendsTrusted Source sufferers who show signs of respiratory infections be given masks while they’re in healthcare settings until they are often isolated.

In the event you’re sick and have to be round others, properly wearing a mask can protect these around you from contracting your illness.


Research show masks might help in some cases
For many years, scientists weren’t positive whether wearing a masks was effective at preventing the spread of viruses. Nonetheless, latest research counsel they will help.

One 2013 studyTrusted Source checked out how masks may help people with the seasonal flu limit spreading it once they exhale small droplets containing the virus. Total, researchers found masks led to a more than threefold reduction in how much virus folks sprayed into the air.

One other examineTrusted Source, analyzing data from hundreds of Japanese schoolchildren, found that "vaccination and wearing a mask reduced the chance of creating seasonal influenza."

Importantly, researchers additionally discoveredTrusted Source that flu rates have been decrease when masks have been paired with proper hand hygiene.

In different words, regular handwashing stays an essential tool in stopping the spread of viruses.

Different types of masks
In the event you’re considering wearing a masks to protect yourself towards infections, there are types you should know about.

Surgical face masks
Surgical face masks are pretty loose-fitting, disposable masks approved by the Meals and Drug Administration for use as medical devices. Doctors, dentists, and nurses often wear them while treating patients.

These masks prevent large droplets of bodily fluids that may comprise viruses or other germs from escaping by way of the nostril and mouth. Additionally they protect towards splashes and sprays from other folks, akin to these from sneezes and coughs.

However the average masks you should purchase from an area drugstore aren’t sufficient to filter out viruses.

For that goal, specialists advocate particular masks with fine mesh that can capture very small organisms. These additionally must be worn correctly for them to work.

Masks worn over the face are also unable to protect you from getting airborne virus particles, from a cough or sneeze, into your eyes.

Buy surgical face masks from Amazon or Walmart.

Respirators
Respirators, additionally called N95 respirator masks, are designed to protect the wearer from small particles in the air, like viruses. They’re licensed by the CDC and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The name comes from the truth that they will filter 95 p.cTrusted Supply of airborne particles, in accordance with the CDC. N95 masks are additionally usually used when painting or handling probably toxic materials.

Respirators are chosen to fit your face. They need to kind an ideal seal so no gaps enable airborne viruses in. Healthcare workers use them to protect in opposition to airborne infectious diseases, corresponding to tuberculosis and anthrax.

Unlike regular face masks, respirators protect towards both giant and small particles.

Total, respirators are considered much more effective at preventing the flu virus than common face masks.

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