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Do I Need to Buy N95 Masks? How to Wear Masks? How to Prevent Infection if No Masks are Available?

The outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus infection has been on the minds of the public. Among the many precautionary measures, a particularly important one is "wearing a mask". Can wearing a mask prevent infection?

Common types of masks

There are several common types of masks: ordinary cotton masks, disposable masks (such as medical surgical masks), and N95 masks.

Disposable masks (medical-surgical masks)

Can prevent respiratory infections to a certain extent and cannot prevent haze.

Medical surgical mask has three layers, from outside to inside are waterproof layer, filter layer and comfort layer. The comfort layer is a layer of non-woven fabric, when wearing the white non-woven fabric facing inward, the blue waterproof layer facing outward, the side with the metal piece facing upward, do not wear the opposite, rubber band hanging on both ears after pinching the metal piece and nose fit, smoothing both cheeks, so that there is no gap between the mask and the face as far as possible.

When you buy, you should choose the mask with the word "medical surgical mask" clearly stated on the outer package.

N95 type masks

Can effectively prevent respiratory tract infection, can prevent haze.

N95 type mask is one of the 9 kinds of anti-particle masks certified by NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). "N" means not suitable for oily particles (frying fumes are oily particles, while the droplets produced by people talking or coughing are not oily); "95" means that under the testing conditions specified by NIOSH standard, the filtration 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 "N95 mask".

The most important feature of N95 masks is that they prevent droplet transmission caused by splashes of bodily fluids or blood from patients. Droplet size is 1 to 5 microns in diameter. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for medical institutions, medical personnel exposed to tuberculosis bacteria must wear N95 standard masks or above.

Compared to medical surgical masks, N95 masks have a better seal. When choosing an N95 mask, try to choose an N95 mask without a breathing valve.

N95 is not a brand, it is a mask model. n95 is based on the American standard, which divides professional protective masks into three categories and nine models.

Ordinary cotton masks

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

Do I have to wear an N95 mask?

Wearing a mask if you are uncomfortable is useful, but it is not necessary to wear an N95 mask because these viruses do not exist alone, they are often present in droplets. General surgical masks can block most of the viruses, that is, for the purpose of self-protection and reducing the risk of respiratory infection, wearing medical surgical masks and N95 masks are fine.

If you go to a general open-air public place and do not come into contact with patients, you can choose to wear a medical surgical mask without excessive protection; however, if you will come into contact with patients suspected of having respiratory infections, you should wear an N95 mask.

When do I need to wear a mask?

  • A mask should be worn when visiting a hospital or visiting a patient, especially when visiting a hospital fever clinic or respiratory unit;

  • During the high season of respiratory infectious diseases, it is recommended to wear a mask when going to crowded places such as supermarkets, shopping malls and theaters;

  • To prevent the transmission of diseases to others, masks should be worn promptly when there are symptoms of respiratory diseases such as fever, cough and runny nose;

  • Wearing a mask is recommended when you are outdoors in hazy weather.

How to wear a mask correctly?

  • Hold the protective mask with one hand, with the back of the side with the nose clip facing outward, cover the nose, mouth and chin nose clip area with one hand and press it upward against the face.

  • With the other hand, pull the lacing behind the ear.

  • Place the fingertips of both hands on the metal nose clip, starting from the middle position, press the nose clip inward with your fingers and move and press to the sides respectively, shaping the nose clip according to the shape of the nose bridge.

Method of removing the mask: Do not touch the front of the mask (contaminated side), untie the lacing on one side first, then the other side, and use your fingers to pinch the lacing of the mask and throw it into the medical waste container.

Remember: wash your hands after removing the mask.

About the mask you should also know

How to wear masks for special groups?

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

The elderly and patients with chronic diseases have different physical conditions, such as heart and lung disease patients wear them, which can cause discomfort and even aggravate the original condition, these people should seek professional guidance from a doctor.

Children are in the growth and development stage, their face is small, it is recommended to choose the children's protective masks produced by regular manufacturers.

How long can N95 masks be used?

Generally speaking, the main factors that affect the repeated use of N series are the hygiene of the mask, the damage and the degree of increased breathing resistance. For everyone, keep your mask dry and tidy, and change it if it is broken or if you feel that it is hard to breathe.

Do I Need to Buy N95 Masks? How to Wear Masks? How to Prevent Infection if No Masks are Available?