Can wearing a face mask protect against the new coronavirus?

Time:2020-03-20

As the number of new coronavirus confirmed cases rises, everyone is concerned: How can I prevent it?

Among the many precautionary measures, a particularly important one is “wearing a face mask”.

It is reported that many hospitals have started screening for fever patients and issued masks to patients. Experts recommend that patients who seek medical attention should wear masks as a routine protective measure.

Some pharmacies also sold out masks. How can I prevent a mask? What kind of mask can prevent infection? How to wear a mask correctly?

Can wearing a mask prevent infection?

Common masks are the following: ordinary cotton masks, disposable masks (such as medical surgical masks), N95 masks.

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Disposable masks (medical surgical masks)
It can prevent respiratory tract infection to a certain extent and cannot prevent haze.

Surgical Mask, Medical Mask, Surgical Face Mask, Disposable Surgical Mask, Earloop Surgical Mask

There are three layers of medical surgical masks, which are waterproof layer, filter layer and comfort layer from outside to inside. The comfort layer is a layer of non-woven fabric. When wearing, the white non-woven fabric is facing inward, the blue waterproof layer is facing outward, and the side with the metal sheet is facing up. Don’t wear it upside down. Fit your nose and smooth your cheeks so that there is no gap between the mask and your face.

Please pay attention when purchasing, you should choose a mask on the outer package clearly marked “Medical Surgical Mask”.

N95 mask

Can effectively prevent respiratory infections, can prevent haze.

The N95 mask is one of nine anti-particulate masks certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. “N” means unsuitable for oily particles (oil fume produced by cooking is oily particles, and droplets produced by people speaking or coughing are not oily); “95” means filtering under the test conditions specified by the NIOSH standard The efficiency reaches 95%.

N95 is not a specific product name. As long as the product meets the N95 standard and passes the NIOSH review, it can be called a “N95 mask”.

The biggest feature of N95 type mask is that it can prevent droplet infection caused by patient’s body fluid or blood splash. The size of the droplets is 1 to 5 microns in diameter. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires medical institutions that medical workers exposed to tuberculosis bacteria must wear masks higher than N95.

Compared with medical surgical masks, N95 masks are better closed. When choosing a N95 mask, try to choose a N95 mask without a breathing valve.

Ordinary cotton face mask

Its material may be cotton, gauze, wool, canvas, and velvet. Because the material itself is not dense enough, it cannot serve the purpose of preventing infection.

How to wear a mask correctly?

N95 mask

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Medical surgical mask

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For the purpose of self-protection and reducing the risk of respiratory infections, medical surgical masks and N95 masks can be used.

If you are going to the general open-air public place without contact with the patient, you can choose to wear medical surgical masks without over-protection, but if you will contact patients with suspected respiratory infections, wear N95 masks.

1. Wear a mask when going to the hospital to see a patient or visiting a patient, especially when going to the hospital for a fever clinic or a respiratory department visit;

2. In the season of high incidence of respiratory infectious diseases, it is recommended to wear a mask when going to supermarkets, shopping malls, theaters and other densely populated places;

3. In order to prevent the disease from being transmitted to others, you should wear a mask in time when you have symptoms of respiratory diseases such as fever, cough and runny nose;

In addition, it is recommended to wear a mask when haze weather is outdoors.

How to wear masks for special people

Pregnant women wearing protective masks should pay attention to their own conditions and choose products with good comfort. Before wearing, you should consult a professional physician to confirm that your physical condition is suitable.

The elderly and patients with chronic diseases have different physical conditions. For example, patients with cardiopulmonary diseases can cause discomfort after wearing, and even worsen the original condition. These people should seek professional guidance from their doctors.

Children are at the stage of growth and development, and their faces are small. It is recommended to choose a child protective mask produced by a regular manufacturer.

How often do masks need to be replaced?

In order to prevent infection, some people may wear medical masks all day long, but this will make the nasal mucosa fragile, lose the original physiological function of the nasal cavity, and reduce resistance. Therefore, it is not necessary to wear a mask in a place with low population density and more ventilation.

It should be reminded that the protective effect of any type of mask is time-consuming and must be replaced regularly. It is recommended to replace the mask every 2 to 4 hours. If the mask is contaminated, it should be replaced immediately.

The medical mask is folded and stored in a ziplock bag when not in use. It is not recommended to take off the mask and directly put it in the pocket or bag. This will easily cause secondary pollution of the medical mask. Be sure to fold it into a clean ziplock bag and fold the side that touches your nose and mouth inwards.

You ca n’t buy a mask, it ’s a way to prevent infection

Infectious diseases of the respiratory tract are mainly transmitted to each other in three ways.

Direct transmission

The patient’s sneezing, coughing, talking droplets, and even exhaled air are all infected with the virus. Inhalation in close contact can cause infection.

A sick person or an animal carrying the virus exhales and howls, and also has the virus, which can cause infection. However, this requires close contact.

Aerosol transmission

When the patient sneezes, coughs, or talks, the droplets float in the air, and large particles will deposit, while particles smaller than 2.5pm in diameter will mix in the air to form an aerosol. When inhaled, it becomes infected.

Contact transmission

The sneezing and coughing droplets of the patient, although initially spread in the air, will eventually deposit and deposit on the ground, tables, chairs, door handles and other daily necessities, as well as patient saliva, sputum, saliva and other secretions, Touching daily necessities with hands contaminated with various secretions will also leave the virus on it.

If a normal person’s hand comes in contact with an item contaminated by a virus, the hand will be contaminated, and then contact their own oral, nasal, and eye mucous membranes, which can cause infection, which is called direct or indirect transmission.

Now that we understand how respiratory infectious diseases are transmitted, we can take the following precautions:

1) Whether it is cough, sneeze or runny nose, be sure to cover it with paper and handkerchief. If nothing is available, you can cover it with your hands, not sneezing or coughing at others.

2) When contacting people, keep a distance of more than 1 meter, especially when talking face to face. All kinds of parties should be avoided during the epidemic season.

3) People who are suspected of having infectious diseases should be quarantined as soon as possible. Do not visit patients suspected of having an infectious disease.

4) Don’t make fun of infectious diseases in high season, try to avoid crowded places.

5) Keep the room constantly ventilated, whether in the workplace or at home.

6) Don’t spit everywhere. If there is no place to spit at that time, you can spit on the paper first, and then put it at its destination when it is convenient.

7) Maintain personal hygiene, especially hands. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with dirty hands.