Will Your N95 Masks Protect You from COVID-19?
It is no longer news that the use of facemasks, together with other PPEs are effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. The use of facemasks, however, does not negate taking other precautions such as the frequent washing of hands and social distancing. All these factors put together is so far, our surest best of ending the pandemic’s grip on our world. Besides, the use of the face masks became much more important due to the unknowing spread of the virus, particularly by asymptomatic infected patients.
Besides, some people may have spread the virus before they notice the symptoms in their bodies because it takes up to 14 days after infection as the incubation period before symptoms begin to appear. Whereas, what first necessitated the use of face masks was the risk of touching the face through its mouth and nose openings leading to the ingestion of the coronavirus. Also, infected persons could spread to another person through cough, sneezing, or even talking closely.
How exactly then can the N95 Face Masks Protect you from COVID-19?
The N95 face mask, as invented by Peter Tsai, has been approved for use in the US while P2 mask is in use in Australia and New Zealand. Each of these countries has subjected the two masks to professional and standard scrutiny before approval. Finally, the World Health Organization, as well as the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of face masks in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus.
Whereas some people may opt for a surgical mask in the fight against the virus, the N95 mask offers much more protection. The first advantage it has over the conventional surgical facemask is that it filters off both large and small particles that the user may otherwise inhale. The design is capable of blocking up to 95% of harmful particles while it allows easy breathing through the valves. Also, the valve can serve as the outlet for the unfiltered air to be dispelled.
The N95 mask is not just any cloth mask but is made of recyclable material of in-depth scientific research. Therefore, many of the protective qualities have been put in place for the design. For instance, the facemask considers the shape of the human nose to ease the stress of use on the face. It also requires the user to first be tested and approved fit before wearing the mask. Whereas, there are some of the N95 masks with a one-way valve so that the wearer cannot inhale contaminated air.
Essentially, it becomes impossible to spread the virus if the user is virus-free. N95 is a disposable mask, only to be used once and disposed of. But research is ongoing about a possible way of decontaminating the used masks for reuse. On the other hand, the limited use has led to the shortage of the N95 mask, particularly in the US. Besides, the health care professionals who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards such as sprays and splashes.