Face masks have been a familiar item in Asia and some European countries since the SARS epidemic in 2003. It is now a hot time between the acute pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan (China) when the disease spread. Through respiratory secretions, using a face mask properly to prevent Coronavirus 2019-Ncovid is, even more, a topic of concern.
Transmission routes of coronavirus 2019-nCoV
The coronavirus 2019-nCoV can be easily transmitted from person to person through the following ways:
Respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal discharge, sneezing, cough.
Close contact (within 1 meter) of a person with symptoms of fever, cough, sneezing, etc.
There has been no manifestation of airborne transmission. Therefore, the first preventive measure when contacting a person with a fever is to wear a face mask.
How to use a face mask properly?
Using face masks is one of the preventive measures to limit the spread of several respiratory diseases, including viral infections, 2019-nCoV caused today. However, wearing a face mask is not enough to protect yourself; users need to combine other measures to enhance the prevention and control of infections in humans. Using it when not recommended can cost you an unnecessary amount.
It sometimes misleads the feeling, making the wearer too reassuring, which can lead to neglect to take other essential measures. Moreover, improper use of face masks may reduce the effectiveness of the prevention of transmission risk.
What kind of face mask should you use?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend that the public wear only face masks to prevent infection. However, the organization believes that people who have or suspect infected with the coronavirus 2019-nCoV need to wear face masks.
In an interview with The Strait Times, Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, said the agency to encourages sick people to use medical face masks, not N95 masks. At a press conference on January 22, 2020, Mr. Koh Peng Keng, Minister of Health of Singapore, also made the same recommendation to the public.
As explained by Leo, the N95 ventilator has a design that makes it difficult to wear the wearer if appropriately dressed due to its high protection. Workers equipped N95 with the size of each person’s face. It is for a short time. Therefore, for the masses, this N95 respirator is not an optimal solution. It is difficult to guarantee the right wearing, leading to inefficient use. It is not the N95 only prevents fine dust, does not prevent viruses, as some sources said.
However, if you have bought an N95 respirator, do not throw it away, practice wearing the correct way to promote its use. On another note, if you choose a face mask to prevent transmission of disease, absolutely do not wear a regular cotton mask, don’t wash and reuse it.
What is the medical face mask?
According to the Ministry of Health, non-woven medical face masks usually have three layers with different uses:
The outer layer has waterproof properties, effectively preventing the liquid particles from being splashed when the patient sneezes, coughs, breathes hard. The outside surface is usually light blue to be easily distinguished. Wearing a proper mask is for the color layer to turn out.
The inner layer is a piece of white non-woven fabric, close to the skin of the face, must be waterproof to absorb sweat, creating comfort when used.
The middle layer prevents particles from splashing and filtering dust and bacteria. It is the layer that determines the quality of the face mask. An adequately screened layer must be efficiently ventilated. It must have a structure sufficient to filter out microscopic dust particles and bacteria.
How to wear a standard face mask
The first important thing when wearing a face mask is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
Medical experts note that when wearing or removing the face mask, we should only hold the straps and loop over the ears. Adjust the nose brace to fit the bridge of the nose. Then, pulling the lower edge of the face mask over the chin. When wearing, do not remove the face mask regularly or touch it or face or eyes. Touching, rubbing a cover, even editing a mask can unintentionally expose your hand to viruses and other pathogens. Then, pass the disease on to yourself and those around you.
If wearing a medical face mask to prevent epidemics, it is best to use it once and place it in safe, covered trash. You should not reuse these masks, nor for a long time. After removing the mask, wash hands similar to before wearing. If you skip the steps of handwashing, using your preventive face mask is only about 50% effective, even if you wear it correctly.
People with suspected 2019-nCoV infections should also wear a medical mask according to the above standards and procedures. Then, immediately notify the medical facility as soon as possible.
Face masks may play an essential role in preventing the 2019-nCoV virus infection. And, you need to practice using them correctly to optimize that role in the current reality. Wash your hands regularly, do not reuse the same face mask, wear and dispose of properly. Actively monitor the health of yourself and those around you.