Does Wearing a Masks Prevent the Flu?

When the Unites States experienced an outbreak of the swine flu in 2009, everybody was speaking about the right way to reduce the spread of the infection. In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source (CDC), vaccine availability was limited that yr because the virus wasn’t identified until manufacturers had already began producing the annual vaccine.

Health organizations reminded people of the importance of regular handwashing with warm water and soap. Individuals who developed the flu had been advised to remain house to recover and keep away from spreading the virus to others. Then, some people started doing something most of us hadn’t seen earlier than: wearing surgical masks. Be taught more about whether facemasks can really prevent spread of the flu, and which masks are essentially the most effective.

Research Show Masks Do Assist
For a few years, scientists weren’t certain if wearing a mask was efficient at preventing the spread of viruses. Nevertheless, latest studies counsel that they will help.

First, a 2008 study published in the International Journal of Infectious Illnesses concluded that when used correctly, masks are highly efficient in stopping the spread of viral infections. Relations of children with flu-like diseases who used the masks properly have been 80 p.c less likely to be recognized with the illness. Surprisingly, the distinction between types of masks used was insignificant.

Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported similar results. Researchers checked out 400 people who had the flu. They discovered that family members reduced their risk of getting the flu by 70 % when they washed their arms often and wore surgical masks.

Different studies discovered promising outcomes outside of the household. For instance, one such research was performed by a workforce of researchers from the University of MichiganTrusted Source on more than 1,000 students residing in residence halls. They assigned the student to groups: those who wore masks, those that wore masks and practiced hand hygiene, and people who did neither. The results showed that those who wore masks in residence halls and practiced good handwashing reduced their risk of flu-like sickness by an astonishing 75 percent.

Facemasks
Facemasks are fairly loosely fitting, disposable masks approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as medical devices. Doctors, dentists, and nurses usually wear them while treating patients. These masks prevent massive droplets of bodily fluids that will comprise viruses from escaping by way of the nose and mouth. Facemasks additionally protect against splashes and sprays from others, equivalent to those from sneezes and coughs. The downside is that these masks don’t stop the inhalation of small, airborne contaminants.

Respirators
Respirators, also called N95 respirator masks, are designed to protect the wearer from small particles in the air which will contain viruses. They’re licensed by the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The name comes from the truth that they will filter ninety five percent of airborne particles, in response to the CDCTrusted Source. N95 masks are also typically used when painting or dealing with doubtlessly poisonous materials.

Respirators are chosen to fit your face. They must form a perfect seal in order that no gaps allow airborne viruses in. Healthcare workers use them to protect against airborne infectious illnesses similar to tuberculosis and anthrax. In contrast to regular facemasks, respirators protect towards each massive and small particles.

General, respirators are considered much more efficient at preventing the flu virus than common facemasks. Still, studies have discovered benefits to both types of masks.

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