World Health Organization (WHO) (which has not been completely honest with the world this year) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that wearing a face mask alongside other preventative measures can go a long way in slowing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The virus responsible for Covid-19, called SARS-CoV-2 or the Wuhan virus, can be prevented from spreading according to a consensus in the medical community by covering your face with masks.
There are different types of face mask Canada and their effectiveness can vary greatly. This article will highlight the importance of face masks and explain the various different masks available as well as the correct way to wear them.
Importance of Face Masks
Current research over novel coronavirus indicates that the virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets. People with no signs and symptoms can easily transmit the virus to others. Hence, keeping away from people that have a cold or look visibly ill is not enough. According to a mathematical model, 40 – 80% transmission is from people that show no symptoms of the virus.
While the science around face mask Canada is yet to be proved effective, they are thought to offer a significant measure of protection from viruses, in particular coronavirus. In fact, the authors of a study concluded that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from symptomatic individuals could be prevented by using masks. There are several other researchers and experts from the medical community that encourage the use of wearing face masks while grocery shopping, in transit, and generally in public.
In addition to wearing face masks, it is important that you clean your hands frequently and practice physical distancing.
Different Types of Covid-19 Face Mask
There are three types of face mask Canada used in relation to Covid-19 prevention and protection. These are discussed in detail below:
1. Surgical mask
Surgical masks are part of personal protective equipment (PPE). They fit loosely over the mouth and nose and provide a shield against large sneeze or cough droplets, sprays, and splashes. However, they are not effective against smaller droplets.
This disposable face mask Canada that covers your mouth, chin and nose is supposed to:
- Protect you from splashes, sprays and large droplets
- Prevent the spread of infectious respiratory secretions
Surgical masks can vary in color and design. However, they are supposed to be rectangular and flat in shape with multiple folds or pleats. The top of the mask is also supposed to contain a metal strip that can be pressed to form the shape of your nose and keep the mask in position. Surgical masks can come with long, straight ties or elastic bands to be held in place. The ties need to be tied behind the head while the elastic bands can be looped around your ears. Both ties and bands have their own pros and cons.
It is important that you never share your surgical mask with anyone from your family or friends. Also, researchers acknowledge that while a single use of surgical mask is not feasible, reuse or long term use could result in self-contamination.
Respirators are seal-tested face mask Canada and include FFP2/3 forms and N95 masks. These masks are made from tangled fibers that help in filtering pathogens from the air, including viruses. They are designed to sit close to the face with edges that form a seal around the nose and mouth. N95 respirators are among the tightest fitting face masks.
They can easily filter out large droplets, sprays and splashes. In addition, they can also restrict small particles, including most bacteria and viruses. The respirator on these masks can be oval or circular in shape. It is designed to offer a tight seal. Respirators come with tight elastic bands to keep the mask firmly against your face.
Many respirators have an exhalation valve attachment, which can help with buildup of heat and humidity, and allow for easier breathing. You should know that N95 face mask Canada are not one size fits all. You need to fit-test them to ensure a proper seal is formed before you use them. You won’t get the required protection if the mask fails to sit tightly against your face.
You would also need to perform seal checks every time you put N95 respirator on. It can be difficult to achieve a tight seal on certain groups, such as people with facial hair or children. Additionally, the general public is advised not to use these masks and leave them for at-risk population and healthcare workers since they are in critical supply.
3. Cloth face coverings
CDC has recommended everyone to wear homemade face masks or cloth face coverings to prevent the transmission of coronavirus among people without symptoms. The recommendation is to wear these masks when you are out in public places and cannot maintain a safe 6-feet distance from others. This is in addition to maintaining proper hygiene practices and physical distancing.
WHO has a tutorial on their site to make a cloth face mask at home. However, if you want a tighter and a better fit, there are several businesses selling these masks. It is important that you wash cloth face mask Canada after every use. Be careful not to touch your nose, mouth, eyes, or face in general while removing the mask. You should wash your hands and face immediately with soap after removing.
Cloth masks offer several benefits, such as they can be manufactured in unlimited supply. You don’t need to necessarily reuse these masks. Masks also lower the risk of virus transmission among people through sneezing, coughing, and speaking. While they may not offer critical protection, such as with N95, they are better than not having your face covered at all, especially in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
Wearing Face Mask Canada Safely
Wearing a face mask may seem simple enough, but there are several deadly mistakes that one can commit. CDC lists the following considerations while using face masks:
- Ensure the face covering doesn’t hamper effective breathing
- Face mask should completely cover the nose and mouth
- It should sit tight around your face and not slip easily
- There should be no gaps
- Wash the face mask after each use
- Never touch the mask while using it
- After removing the mask, make sure you wash your hands and face
Important Face Mask Recommendations
These are a few recommendations that WHO and CDC have provided while choosing and using a face mask:
- Always wear face masks in public settings, especially while grocery shopping or in pharmacies to prevent community-based transmission
- Never put face masks on children under the age of 2 years, unconscious people, or people who cannot breathe comfortably
- Use cloth face masks instead of N95 respirators and surgical masks since they are in critical supply and need to be reserved for medical first responders and healthcare workers
How Effective Is Face Mask in Protecting Against Covid-19?
Coronavirus can be transmitted from one person to another through small respiratory droplets. These are created when a person with the virus (even if not exhibiting symptoms) coughs, talks, sneezes or exhales. You can easily catch the virus if you inhale these droplets. Respiratory droplets are not just air borne, but can also land on surfaces and objects.
You can contract the virus if you place your hand on an infected surface and then touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or face in general. However, SARS-CoV-2 is not thought to be transmitted by this way majorly. This is how different types of face mask Canada prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Surgical masks cannot directly protect you against infection with SARS-CoV-2. These masks are loose fitting and cannot prevent small droplets from entering through the sides into your nose and mouth. In any case, the mask doesn’t necessarily filter out smaller aerosol particles in splash, spray, sneeze, and cough.
N95 respirators are highly effective against preventing smaller respiratory droplets from entering your nose and mouth. However, you need to make sure that the mask is tight fitting and sealed properly. While N95 masks offer a higher level of protection, the CDC has not recommended its use outside of healthcare settings.
This is because these masks need to be fit tested and used properly for them to be effective against a robust virus, such as SARS-CoV-2. Poor seal can lead to aerosol particles entering the mask, defying the purpose. Their tight fit can quickly become uncomfortable and stuffy, leading to trouble in breathing when worn over an extended period time.
However, the most important reason for not wearing these masks is that they are in limited supply. This makes it necessary that they be reserved for first responders and healthcare workers.
Cloth face masks
Cloth face coverings are better than surgical masks since they are tight fitting and fully cover nose and mouth. While they may offer a small degree of protection against smaller air borne particles, they are found to be highly effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus from asymptomatic people. The CDC has recommended using these masks in public settings while practicing proper hygiene and physical distancing.