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In late 2019, a novel coronavirus emerged. Since then, it’s rapidly spread throughout the world. This novel coronavirus is called SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that it causes is called COVID-19.
While some with COVID-19 have a mild illness, others may have trouble breathing, pneumonia, and even respiratory failure.
Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk trusted Source for serious illness.
You may have heard a lot recently about using face Masks to prevent infection. So, are the face Masks effective, and how are they effective, when should you wear them? Read on to learn the answers to this question and more.
Here is the content list:
l Surgical Masks
l N95 Respirators
l Comparing Surgical Masks and Surgical N95 Respirators
Surgical Masks are disposable, loose-fitting face Masks that cover your nose, mouth, and chin. They’re typically used to:
Protect the wearer from sprays, splashes, and large-particle droplets.
Prevent the transmission of potentially infectious respiratory secretions from the wearer to others
Surgical Masks can vary in design, but the mask itself is often flat and rectangular in shape with pleats or folds. The top of the mask contains a metal strip that can be formed to your nose.
Elastic bands or long, straight ties help hold a surgical mask in place while you’re wearing it. These can either be looped behind your ears or tied behind your head.
An N95 respirator is a more tight-fitting face mask. In addition to splashes, sprays, and large droplets, this respirator can also filter out 95 percent Trusted Source of very small particles. This includes viruses and bacteria.
The respirator itself is generally circular or oval in shape and is designed to form a tight seal to your face. Elastic bands help hold it firmly to your face.
Some types may have an attachment called an exhalation valve, which can help with breathing and the buildup of heat and humidity.
N95 Respirators aren’t one-size-fits-all. They actually must be fit-tested before use to make sure that a proper seal is formed. If the mask doesn’t seal effectively to your face, you won’t receive the appropriate protection.
After being fit-tested, users of N95 Respirators must continue to perform a seal check each time they put one on.
It’s also important to note that a tight seal can’t be achieved in some groups. These include children and people with facial hair
The FDA regulates Surgical Masks and Surgical N95 Respiratorsdifferently based on their intended use.
A surgical mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. These are often referred to as face Masks, although not all face Masks are regulated as Surgical Masks. Note that the edges of the mask are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.
An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. Note that the edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth. Surgical N95 Respirators are commonly used in healthcare settings and are a subset of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs), often referred to as N95s.