Does n95 face mask protect you from new coronavirus?
There has been a buzz about ” n95 masks for coronavirus ” around everywhere. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the world has been witnessing a global health emergency. All of a sudden unplanned lockdowns are being ordered and people rushing to buy emergency foods amid COVID pandemic.
Every country is engaged in exploring coronavirus causes and neutralizing its probable effect. WHO, an international health organization and CDC has extended isolation precautions to contract the deadly radius of coronavirus outbreak.
The US reported its first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus on January 30, 2020. Since the regular advisories, i.e.cdc coronavirus isolation precautions, are being released. The U.S. issued a Level 4 warning for US citizens not to travel to China.
- N95 masks (n95 respirators) for coronavirus filter out all types of airborne particles.
- N95 masks block 95 percent of very small test particles (0.3 microns).
- The extended use of respirators depends on its fit and functionality.
- Surgical masks only protect from large particles.
- Smoking may risk coronavirus
Recently, the WHO announced an official name “COVID-19”, for the deadly disease, causing the coronavirus disease.
The coronavirus outbreak in 2019 has reported more than 45000 deaths so far and more than 900000 cases. As the situation keeps on endangering, you have to follow precautionary and preventive measures.
An informative video pasted from WHO website
There is no certain clue about coronavirus causes. But still, CDC coronavirus isolation precautions are more preventive.
With the uncertainty of coronavirus causes, the effect of the coronavirus outbreak can’t be predicted. The extent of its impact could only be taken in terms of reported cases of infected people.
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The coronavirus origin portrayed it as a deadly virus. It appears with the reported cases that it’s transmitting through person to person.
Furthermore, it may also be spread through respiratory droplets released while someone infected with coronavirus sneezes and coughs.
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There are many different preventive respiratory precautions need to be taken. Stay away or wear a mask in crowded places. People having symptoms for coronavirus infection like a cold, cough or symptoms like flu must not step out.
Now the questions pop out.
Should I wear a Surgical mask or n95 masks for coronavirus?
Wearing a face mask (sometimes called a surgical mask) can protect you from the new coronavirus transmission. Yes, if it is not an ordinary surgical face mask. So you need to have airborne precautions instantaneously.
According to the Dr.William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist, N95 masks (n95 respirators) are a more specialized mask for protection from coronavirus called COVID-19. The new cases of coronavirus have increased its demand.
Still, CDC released coronavirus isolation precautions for preventing coronavirus transmission.
CDC recommended using N95 for coronavirus or higher respiratory protection; surgical mask if N95 unavailable; eye protection goggles, face shield, etc to prevent coronavirus transmission.
There may be some health issues for the people have experienced respiratory problems, refer CDC guidelines before using n95masks for preventing coronavirus transmission.
What are the Airborne Precautions?
You need to follow airborne precautions to protect against the transmission of infected airborne particles.
All diseases that require intensive airborne precautions include SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Measles, Chickenpox, COVID19, etc. These are not limited only to the aforementioned diseases.
What is a respirator?
A respirator is known as a personal protective device, that can easily cover the face or head or at least cover the nose and mouth. A respirator is used to reduce the risk of inhaling infected airborne particles, gases or vapors.
What is the n95 mask (n95 respirator)?
N95 masks or respirators or mask is a respiratory protective device that protects you from breathing in airborne hazardous particles by covering the nose and mouth.
The ‘N95’ designation implies during careful testing the respirator efficiently blocks at least 95 percent of very small particles (0.3 microns).
N95 respirators are much capable of filtering out all types of airborne particles i.e. bacteria and viruses.
How do n95 masks (n95 respirators)filters perform?
The Respirator filters collecting at least 95 percent of particles during the aerosol challenge, gain n95 rating. Similarly, the “n99” rating for collecting at least 99 percent particles and“n100” rating for collecting 99.97 particles.
Respirator filters are usually rated as N, R, or P. These are rated according to their protection level against oil aerosols.
Some industrial oils are capable enough to degrade the filter’s efficiency.
So, the respirators are rates as
“N”- if not resistant to oil (n95)
“R”- if mildly resistant to oil (R-95)
“P”- if “Oil Proof”, completely resistant to oil. (P-95)
How long can you wear n95 mask (n95 respirators) for COVID19?
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, The masks must maintain its fit and function.
The industrial workers usually wear N95 masks (n95 respirators) for several hours uninterruptedly.
So, with this due experience, it indicates that you can wear n95 respirators, till it functions specifically with their design specifications for around 8 hours. It may be used intermittently or continuously in these 8 hours.
Are n95 masks reusable?
According to the OSHA directives, a respirator can easily be reused, till it successfully maintains its structural as well as functional integrity.
More importantly, to reuse the n95 respirator, its important that its filter material must not be soiled or physically damaged.
How many times can we reuse the n95 mask?
There is no integrated factor that determines the maximum possible times you can wear n95 masks or respirators. The reuse of n95 masks for coronavirus prevention depends on various variables that directly or indirectly impacts its function and contamination during its use.
How to wear a mask to prevent COVID or Coronaviru infection?
An informative video pasted from WHO website
Difference between an n95 respirator and a surgical mask.
N95 masks or respirators are much thicker than regular surgical masks. So, you need to catch everything about how to wear it properly to ensure you can’t breathe around its edges.
So there is a major difference between surgical masks and N95 respirators and mask. CDC is releasing preventive measures since the coronavirus outbreak like isolation precautions for health workers.
What is the difference between an n95 respirator and a surgical mask?
Before explaining the fundamental difference between the n95 respirator and surgical mask, let’s explore more about its Surgical mask.
The surgical mask in comparison to n95 respirators does not protect from inhaling very small particles, which can usually remain airborne for a much longer period. More importantly, the Surgical masks are only effective protection against large droplets.
Most of the surgical masks are not capable of filtering small airborne particles. The filter material of the regular surgical masks not retains or filters out submicron particles
The air leakage around the masks’ edges opens up more risk while you inhale. It does not prevent you from the risk of inhaling infectious airborne particles. Source: Occupational Health & Safety.
Surgical masks are usually not designed to use these masks as particulate respirators. The regular surgical masks do not ensure respiratory protection like N95 respirators.
Difference between an n95 respirator and a surgical mask
How to prevent coronavirus infection?
With proper precautions like avoiding close contact with sick people, avoid touching face with unwashed hands and disinfect frequently touched surface and object, you can prevent from coronavirus transmission, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.