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Video: Protective Masks: Are They Effective Or Not?
With the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, which has already turned into a pandemic, the majority of pharmacies had to face a shortage of respiratory protective masks. But are they really effective? Surgical masks type 1, 2, FFP2 or FFP3? Homemade paper mask or fabric mask? Which mask against the coronavirus to choose? What is a protective mask used for? Is it for everyone? How to put it? And can we use it multiple times? After the lifespan of the coronavirus, Deavita.fr takes stock of that of anti-virus masks!
The different types of protective masks and their effectiveness against the coronavirus
First, let's be clear: there are several types of respiratory protection masks: shell, duck, FFP2, FFP3. Offering a very high level of filtration, they are used by public health professionals, such as medical transport, firefighters, private doctors, nurses, and no longer filter only bacteria, but also aerosols. They are therefore not intended for the sick. In the event of the coronavirus pandemic, type 1 and type 2 surgical masks remain reserved for the general public. Unlike specialty masks, these have a relatively shorter lifespan and are not reusable! Having said that, are they effective or not?
In which cases to wear a protective mask?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus or are caring for someone who may be infected, wearing a mask is essential. Note: these masks are for single use and must be well adapted to the size of the face. They are not washable or reusable in any way. If you wear one, but you are not sick, this can be considered a waste. Given the current shortage of masks, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly advises people to use them sparingly!
How to put on your respiratory protection mask?
According to some doctors, the mask tends to lower alertness and provide a sort of false sense of security to the wearer. It must be well positioned and adapted to the size and shape of the face: the padded side of the nose bar must be placed on the bump of the nose to protect it well. Given the mode of transmission of the coronavirus (by air, coughing or sneezing), masks become completely useless and ineffective if soap and disinfectant gel are not used, and barrier measures are neglected. Because basically, we touch contaminated surfaces all the time.
How to buy it in pharmacies?
Although wearing a mask is not a cultural practice in France, more and more French people are rushing to purchase medical masks to protect themselves from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has however announced that it is now necessary to have a prescription to be able to buy it at a pharmacy, explaining that wearing a mask was not effective in people who do not have symptoms of the coronavirus. Only the departments most affected by the coronavirus will receive masks. So, can we hope to protect ourselves with a homemade fabric mask?
Mask specialized in paper or homemade in fabric?
Specialists draw our attention to the wearing time of this type of "homemade" fabric mask. “As already mentioned, anti-virus masks are normally changed every 3 hours. At the end of this time, they lose their effectiveness. Ditto for homemade fabric masks. For them to be effective, you need to have several fabric masks so you can change them during the day. You should also wash them under special conditions every night to reduce the risk of contamination. In short, whether conventional or artisanal, the mask becomes ineffective if it is touched, fiddled with, moved or moved.
If, however, this does not deter you, you will very quickly find out how to make your own protective mask from cotton. The Web is full of easy tutorials and, moreover, very suitable for this period of confinement. If you have a sewing machine, or are good with your hands, this is worth a try. According to a group of researchers from Cambridge, who compared the effectiveness of conventional masks and homemade masks, the latter perform quite well and are better than no mask at all.