Wearing a mask often helps people feel protected and reassured. But can a surgical mask keep you from being exposed to or transmitting certain infectious diseases?
And, if face masks do shield you from infectious diseases, like COVID-19, is there a correct thanks to put them on, take them off, and discard them? Keep reading to seek out out.
What is a surgical face mask?
A surgical mask may be a loose-fitting, disposable mask that’s rectangular in shape. The mask has elastic bands or ties which will be looped behind your ears or tied behind your head to carry it in situ . A metal strip could also be present at the highest of the mask and may be pinched to suit the mask around your nose.
from droplets, sprays, splatters, and splashes. The mask can also reduce the likelihood of hand-to-face contact.
The surgical mask’s three-ply layers work as follows:
The middle layer filters certain pathogens.
However, the sides of surgical masks don’t form a decent seal around your nose or mouth. Therefore, they can’t filter small airborne particles like those transmitted by coughing or sneezing.
When do you have to wear a face mask?
The World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source recommends using surgical masks as long as you:
have a fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms
are well but caring for somebody with a respiratory disease — during this case, wear a mask when you’re within 6 feet or closer to the one that is ill
Although a surgical mask helps trap larger respiratory droplets, it can’t protect you from contracting the novel coronavirus, which is understood as SARS-CoV-2. That’s because surgical masks:
don’t filter smaller airborne particles
don’t fit snugly on your face, so airborne particles can leak in through the edges of the mask
Some studies have did not show that surgical masks effectively prevent exposure to infectious diseases in community or public settings.
At present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source doesn’t recommend that the overall public wear surgical masks or N95 respirators to guard from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Healthcare providers and first responders need these supplies, and there’s currently a shortage of them.
However, within the case of COVID-19, the CDC does advise the overall public to wear cloth face coverings to stop the spread of the disease. The CDC also provides instructions Trusted Source on the way to make your own.