The surge in Covid-19 infection across the globe since December 2019 has considerably driven a rise in the sale of hand sanitizers and face masks.
The CDC Has Recommended People To Use High-Quality Masks
The high demand for masks, followed by the increase in the price of high-quality masks, has forced people to use cloth or alternative means to cover the face as per the guidelines of health experts. Some people use masks that do not serve the purpose of keeping themselves safe from infectious viruses.
Now viewing the steep rise of Covid-19 cases during the second week of January 2022 combined with negligence of people in wearing proper masks, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has recommended people to use high-quality masks which will enable them to resist the fast spreading of the virus.
In this regard, the agency has recommended using masks that are comfortable to wear and with multi-filtration for better effectiveness in getting protected from infection.
The low-budgeted fabric masks generally used by major populations tend to provide lesser protection in comparison to surgical masks. It is always recommended to use 3 layered masks with an inner layer consisting of absorbent material like cotton, a middle layer with non-absorbent material like polypropylene, and an outer layer of non-absorbent material like polyester.
Moreover, the masks should be tailored in such a way that they should cover the nose, cheeks, and chin without leaving any gaps at the sides. The gaps will allow the un-filtered breath to escape.
People face issues in wearing certain protective masks, which are mainly due to non-availability of stock, uncomfortable for constant use, and cost-effective.
The wearing of a mask has now been an integral part of life since it will protect people from getting infected and simultaneously help to spread the infection. The mask is to be compulsorily worn while interacting with individuals who are not a member of their house or when there is poor ventilation in the house. However, while going outdoors, it is necessary to wear a mask along with maintaining the social distance of 2 meters from each other to avoid contamination.
The current variant called Omicron of Covid-19 has been termed as highly transmissible and therefore the health care system recommends highly protective masks like N95 &KN95 for health care workers and medical staff. People above the age of 2 are advised to wear masks irrespective of the number of vaccines while at home or to visit public places.
The medical mask comes in 2 types – one is the surgical type and the other is respirators. The commonly available version of respirators in America is N95 & KN95s which form a tight seal on the face. The respirators are designed to keep the respiratory droplets and all other particles that carry infectious agents.
It has been noticed that cloth or fabric masks can block 30% of aerosol particles from entering the human body through the nose or mouth. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that surgical masks are effective in blocking only larger particles while the smaller ones get transmitted.
However, the claim that the virus is too small to get filtered in an N95 respirator mask has been ruled out by U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, stating that virus particles travel either with water when it comes after sneezing or travels with mucus while coughing, which make their size bigger enough to get trapped in the respirators.
Considering the grave situation and rapid spread of Covid-19 infection White House is planning to distribute high-quality masks to Americans for free. Even legislation will be passed for distributing free masks to all citizens of America. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that it is always safe and better to have a mask than without a mask.
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