Face Masks for Swine Flu Virus Prevention
Swine flu, also called as swine influenza, is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccination along with flu shots. Besides, face masks and N95 respirators come in handy to limit its spread.
Face masks and N95 respirators help prevent spread of viruses and bacteria from one person to another. These mediums work only in tandem with other precautionary measures such as frequent hand washing and social distancing.
A face mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device, which acts as a physical barrier and potentially prevents the spread of germs from airborne particles. On the other hand, N95 respirator achieves a very close facial fit on wearing it and blocks germs in airborne particles.
The effectiveness of face masks and respirators in reducing the risk of influenza infection in community settings has not been evaluated. Hence the efficacy of these masks in reducing the risk of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the community setting and home remains unknown. The recommendations for their use to reduce the risk of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection are as follows;
How Face Mask Works
- A facemask or respirator can be used by people at increased risk of severe illness from influenza.
- These are not needed for workers in non-healthcare occupational settings. Use may be considered by people at increased risk of severe illness from influenza.
- It is not recommended for health care occupational settings.
- Those at increased risk of severe illness from influenza in healthcare occupational settings should avoid contact with people who have influenza-like illness (ILI) (fever, cough or sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea).
[Read: How to Survive Swine Flu Season]
Recommendations for Using Face Masks and N95 Respirators
- Facemasks and N95 respirators should never be shared, as these may get contaminated with germs (viruses and bacteria) on use which can possibly spread between people.
- Used facemasks and N95 respirators should disposed in regular trash immediately after removing.
- If it a reusable facemask, it can be used again after it has been washed. Clean it with a normal laundry detergent before use. After washing it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Read more articles on Swine Flu (H1N1) Prevention.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 22, 2013
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