face mask

Face mask : Unmasking its Details in Covid 19 pandemic


WHY DO WE NEED A FACE MASK ?

Face mask is one of the strategies of suppressing the transmission of SARS-CoV2 droplet Infection as virus spreads from person to person . Its intention is preventing the wearer transmitting infection to others and to offer protection to the wearer against infection .
Three W’s to stop the transmission of COVID-19:” wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.

COVID 19 PREVENTION
COVID 19 INFECTION PREVENTION TIPS

WHAT ARE THE TYPE OF FACE MASKS ?

  • MEDICAL MASKS (SURGICAL MASKS): These are made from a minimum of three layers of synthetic nonwoven materials.
  • RESPIRATORS: Also known as Filtering Facepiece Respirators – (FFP) and available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99. These are specifically designed for healthcare workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken.
  • NON MEDICAL MASKS : Also known as fabric masks, home-made masks, DIY masks .These act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
types of face mask
Types of face mask

WHO SHOULD WEAR MEDICAL MASKS ?

WHO recommends the following groups use medical masks.

  • Health workers
  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including people with mild symptoms 
  • People caring for suspect or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilities
  • Settings where social distancing in not possible and chances of high infection , it is recommended to use medical mask in two groups :
    1.People aged ≥60 years
    2. People with underlying comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, immunosuppression

HOW TO PUT ON A MEDICAL FACE MASK ?

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water 
  • Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged.
  • Verify which side is the top – this is usually where the metal strip is
  • Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side.
  • Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
  • Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands
how to wear a medical face mask
Source : WHO
how to wear a medical face mask
SOURCE : WHO

HOW TO TAKE OFF A MEDICAL FACE MASK ?

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water 
  • Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask.
  • As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face.  
  • Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin.
  • Clean your hands after touching the mask.
  • Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp

WHO SHOULD YOU USE A NON MEDICAL MASK ?

According to WHO , governments should encourage the use of face masks for people in the general public where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.
Remember :  Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19. People should also clean their hands frequently and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others. 

WHAT TYPE OF NON MEDICAL FABRIC MASK PREFERRED ?

Preferable types of fabrics, number of layers and the composition of a non-medical, fabric mask:

  • an inner layer of absorbent material such as cotton
  • a middle layer of non-woven material such as polypropylene 
  • an outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend

Make sure to purchase a mask that lets you breathe while talking and walking briskly.

HOW TO PUT ON AND TAKE OFF YOUR NON MEDICAL FABRIC FACE MASK ?

  • Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
  • Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it’s snug.
  • Don’t touch your mask while wearing it.
  • If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
  • Regularly wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine. It’s fine to launder it with other clothes.

Few face mask precautions:

  • Don’t put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help.
  • Don’t put masks on children under 2 years of age.
  • Don’t use face masks as a substitute for social distancing.
how to wear a non medical face mask
SOURCE : WHO
HOW TO WEAR A FABRIC FACE MASK ( SOURCE : WHO )

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR FABRIC FACE MASK ?

Washing machine

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

Washing by hand

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water

HOW TO DRY YOUR FABRIC FACE MASK ?

Dryer

  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Air dry

  • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.

HOW TO MAKE A NON MEDICAL FABRIC FACE MASK ?

A tighter fitting around the face is probably better face mask, but CDC suggests any covering including a bandana, is better than none.

One US study investigated that vacuum cleaner bags, heavyweight “quilter’s cotton” or multiple layers of material ,best removed particles of 0.3-1.0 microns in diameter. Scarves and bandana material were less effective, but still captured a fraction of particles.

face mask at home
source : CDC
bandana mask
source : CDC

T shirt mask
source : CDC

CONCLUSION

  • Three W’s to stop the transmission of COVID-19:” wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.
  • Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19. People should also clean their hands frequently and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others. 

Also Read :
https://www.thedoctips.com/pulse-oximeter-its-use-and-importance-in-covid-19/
https://www.thedoctips.com/another-viral-outbreak-coming-soon-double-trouble/
https://www.thedoctips.com/covid-19-medicine-favipiravir-end-of-corona/


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