Last Updated on July 18, 2021 by Arvino Voyage
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it supports government initiatives that require or encourage people to wear masks, marking a major change from previous suggestions amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, many people wear masks while in an area affected by a virus. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC recommends that masks and protective equipment be worn only by people in four categories, those who show flu symptoms, people who are in a high risk category (suffering from chronic diseases, underlying medical conditions) when out of the house, health professionals, and those around sick people.
What type of mask should you use for the coronavirus disease?
Masks are also widely used with a variety of different functions and uses. The following types of face masks:
N95 respirator masks are again widely used today to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Compared to surgical masks, this mask is tighter so it is believed to be a better alternative. Masks with an N95 rating filter out 95 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger in diameter. This mask consists of 3 layers of filters. The outer layer filters the largest dust particles, the inner layer maintain the shape of the respirator, and the middle layer consists of electrostatic filter media.
Some masks also have a breathing valve that can reduce humidity. This mask can also filter and stop pollutants, viruses, and bacteria from entering the mouth or nasal passageways. Compared to all other masks, the N95 mask offers the highest level of protection, and better able to filter viruses.
N95 masks can be used several times, in the sense of being removed briefly and then reused. Even so, this should not be done more than five times. How to wear and remove this mask the same as with other masks, you should wash your hands with soap first so that there are no germs or viruses attached to the mask.
Using an N95 mask will make you uncomfortable because it is too tight so it makes it hard for the wearer to breathe properly. When using an N95 mask, the nose and mouth will be tightly closed to prevent air gaps containing the virus from entering. But for those of you who have asthma, you should not use this mask.
Surgical masks may be one of the masks that are sold in the market. In addition to its easy-to-use form, this mask also has a low price, this disposable mask was originally intended for medical personnel when handling patients.
Even if you cover your mouth, a surgical mask can’t really protect you from transmitting coronavirus or similar microbes in the air. Because, this mask has a loose slit that can be a path for germs to enter.
Most surgical masks consist of 3 layers that have different functions, namely:
- The outer layer, which is waterproof.
- Middle layer, which functions as a germ filter.
- Inner layer, which is useful for absorbing fluid coming out of the mouth.
Quality surgical masks can stop the transmission of various types of viruses by up to 80-90 percent, especially if used by people who are sick. This mask can help prevent particles released by the wearer, such as saliva or mucus, when coughing or sneezing.
Masks have become a rare commodity in recent month. Because of this, many are turning to homemade cloth masks. There can be coated with tissue or sponge. Although not very effective at filtering germs, cloth masks are considered better than not using anything to prevent the spread of germs, especially during a pandemic situation like this.
CDC recommends using an old scarf, hand towel, bandana, or even coffee filters to make your own mask. CDC also provides instructions for face covering fabric that is sewn using two rectangles of cotton cloth, flannel cloth as an inner layer, preferably recommended.
Before making a homemade mask it is recommended to lift it to bright light or the sun. If the light is easily filtered, filtering might not be as good as this. If it blocks more light, it’s likely to perform better.
N99 masks are an effective type of mask to protect against pollution and viruses. The N99 mask is also capable of protecting 99 microparticles in the air below PM 2.5 by having six layers and two air valves on the right and left side.
The difference between N99 and N95 masks is that N99 masks are only allowed to be used once. Similar to the recommended use of surgical masks. This mask is very effective to use for 3-4 hours of use in 1 day. Weaknesses when worn, N99 masks often cause discomfort because the mask material tends to be stiff and cannot be adjusted to the shape of the face.
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P95 masks have advantages compared to other masks. Because the benefits of P95 masks can not only filter out dust, viruses, and other harmful particles in the air. But as a respirator mask that is able to filter out particles containing oil. Not only does it have a thicker layer, this 3M Air Filter Anti Pollution Mask also features a filter that can filter the air from pollution and viruses that can damage the body.
The N95 standard dust mask effectively filters 90 percent of oil-free air particles, prevents fine dust, solid and liquid particles, prevents PM2.5 air pollution, suitable for use indoors or outdoors. This mask consists of a sophisticated 4 layer filter material with effective filtration and low respiratory resistance for consistent high quality performance.
P95 masks are commonly used in workers in oil refineries, gas stations, pharmaceutical factories and many more. This mask can be used for 40 hours in a period of 30 days. P95 masks are also designed with the ability to filter oil aerosols up to 95 percent.
R95, R99, R100 Carbon Masks
As the name suggests, this mask contains an activated carbon filter that helps filter out pollutants and germs so that users can breathe cleaner air. The research also said that the carbon filter in the mask can also increase the capacity of the lungs and respiratory muscles, very well used by people living in polluted cities.
Because it can block pollution and small particles such as bacteria and fungi that spread through the air, this mask also helps prevent allergies. However, carbon masks are less effective at fighting or preventing the transmission of viruses such as covid 19. This mask can only trap a small amount, which is 10-20 percent of the virus, and therefore may not be the best choice at this time.
Of all the types of masks, when avoiding the coronavirus outbreak as it is today, the N95 mask is the most ideal in terms of price and comfort. Fabric masks themselves are actually not recommended. Because cloth masks have ‘pores’ that are much bigger than surgical masks, especially when compared to N95 type masks.
What type of mask should you use for the coronavirus disease?
This mask made from cloth is clearly not suitable for the standard of transmission or prevention of infectious diseases. Because, particles, bacteria, and viruses still have the potential to survive by passing cracks in the fabric mask.
But, in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, the use of cloth masks is better than not using masks at all, especially for those who are sick. Thus, the potential for transmitting or contracting the disease can be a bit more minimized.
Here is a guide to using the correct mask:
- Make sure you wash your hands properly.
- If you use a surgical mask, make sure the outside is green and the inside is white.
- Bend the metal strips along the curve of the nose so that there are no holes left.
- Avoid touching the middle of the mask when using and removing the mask.
- Make sure the mask covers the nose, mouth and chin perfectly. Also make sure the metal part is in the bridge of the nose.
- Put on the mask strap well. If the mask string needs to be tied, tie the top first, then the bottom.
- Dispose of the mask in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly after using the mask.
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