Face mask: A requisite to fight COVID-19 — GlobalShala

Face mask: A requisite to fight COVID-19

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, respiratory droplets and contact are the two main routes of transmission of COVID-19. The rise in the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases further aggravates the problem. Therefore, it is possible that infected people can transmit the virus even before the symptoms start to develop. Wearing a mask is one of the crucial measures that can limit the spread of the virus and hence, the government advisory is recommending everyone to wear a mask when they go out. And as the demand for masks in on a steep rise, homemade masks are also on a rise. Health experts and researchers say that although these masks don’t protect us from getting sick, they can help prevent the spread of the virus.

Masks made from materials such as pantyhose, toilet paper, t-shirts, and coffee filters are also being used by people. However, the extent to which these masks prevent the virus from entering the body through the airway varies with the material. Loretta Fernandez, an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University, with her expertise in sampling complex and microscopic particles, determined how efficiently these homemade masks performed.

She found out that homemade masks filtered around 60 percent of the particles while commercial surgical masks filtered 75 percent of particles. The number of layers and how well it fits on the wearer’s face plays a key role too. A series of layers with bends within the fabric makes it harder for the virus to have a straight shot on the person’s nose.

As per the WHO advisory, masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning and alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, and when frequent touching of the mask is avoided. So, precautions must complement the use of masks for effective results. Masks can substantially bring this pandemic under control when used along with other preventive measures, so don’t forget to cover your face with your DIY mask the next time you go out of your home to buy the essentials.

For more, visit Globalshala.

Kriti Vishwakarma

Originally published at https://www.globalshala.com.

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