COVID-19 in questions and answers. Part 3. Types of masks
12 October 2020
12 October 2020
The results of the research say:
Another study showed that N95 respirators are even better at protecting against infection, but they are still recommended for healthcare professionals, not for wearing in public.
Both surgical masks and N95 respirators are more effective than layered cotton masks.
Researchers have learned that cotton materials with a higher thread density have better filtration; that chiffon works better than silk, which in turn works better than fleece.
An important finding in the study is that the multilayer of different materials (e.g., one layer of cotton and then a layer of silk) can significantly improve the ability to filter.
Scientists have also found that the so-called buffs (neck gaiters, especially polyester with spandex) do not protect against the spread of the virus, but rather contribute to its spread, spray drops with virus in smaller droplets - and hold them in the air for longer. People who use this accessory may shed more drops with viruses than those without a mask at all.
Wearing bandanas instead of cotton layered or surgical masks is also not too much. effective.
Surgical masks are for single use only. If your mask is damaged or soiled, or if breathing through the mask becomes difficult, you should remove the mask from your face, dispose of it safely and replace it with a new one. Washing surgical masks damages their filtration capabilities.
Fabric masks, as recommended by the CDC, should be washed after each use. You can wash fabric masks like regular linen, although it is recommended to use the highest temperatures for washing and drying. Another option is to place the mask in direct sunlight to dry (however, this would be important in the summer).
Note that neck buffs can do more harm than no mask.
Wearing a mask reduces the risk of infection and transmission of the virus to others. Studies show that the use of surgical and cotton masks can significantly reduce the overall level of infection. The evidence is clear: face masks are an effective way to minimize the spread of COVID-19.