What style and rating of mask/respirator should you get if you are looking to protect against coronavirus?
With mounting concern about the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from China, many people are trying to figure out the best ways to protect themselves and their loved ones from infection. Two big questions many people have are: Will wearing a face mask keep us safe? And if so, what kind?
BEST MASK FOR CORONAVIRUS
People in most countries other than China are safe as of now. But this is fast changing as the disease has spread as far as Italy! China has already started working on its containment on a war footing. The complete province has been shut down and quarantined. So if you are from the USA or other countries, you are not at a major risk at this time. Debrief Me N99 Masks are popular masks in the USA. Governments are already alert. People returning from China are being scanned at airports through thermal imaging cameras for identification.
- Niosh Approved N95 for at least 95 percent filtration efficiency against certain non oil based particles and aerosols
- 3M Cool Flow Valve Helps Reduce Heat Build Up Inside the Respirator
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On Thursday, two more people tested positive for coronavirus in England.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the two patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centers after contracting the virus in Italy and Tenerife.
The new cases bring the total number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the UK to 15.
Authorities in Italy say the number of people infected in the country has increased to 447 and 14 people have died, while Denmark has reported its first case.
In Japan, all schools will close for several weeks, while in the US experts have reported the first case of unknown origin, which suggests the virus is spreading there.
But just how effective are face masks? Do N95 respirator masks protect you from virus?
Around towns, cities and on public transport the sight of someone wearing a surgical mask is becoming more frequent as coronavirus spreads.
However, if you wear a regular surgical mask, you are not protected from the virus as some may believe.
To protect against coronavirus, a specialised mask – an N95 respirator – can be effective.
Coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCov requires the thicker respirator mask to help prevent spread.
However, Dr William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Live Science he does not recommend an N95 respirator for public use.
This is due to the difficulty wearers can face putting the masks on and wearing them for long periods of time.
In fact, specialists are trained in how to properly wear the respirator in order to fit them around the nose, cheeks and chin so that wearers don’t breathe around the edges of the mask.
Dr Schaffner said of breathing through the edges: “When you do that, it turns out that the work of breathing since you’re going through a very thick material, is harder.
“You have to work to breathe in and out. It’s a bit claustrophobic. It can get moist and hot in there.”
Dr Schaffner added: “I know that I can wear them when I need to for about a half-hour.
“But then I have to go out of the isolation room, take it off and take some deep breaths, kind of cool off before I can go back in.”
Do regular surgical masks work?
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According to Dr Schaffner, surgical masks don’t do much good in the protection against a virus.
Often they are seen in public in Asian countries to protect against pollution and some illnesses, but you will not be protected from coronavirus wearing a regular surgical mask.
- NIOSH approved P95 for at least 95 percent filtration efficiency against certain oil and non-oil based particles
- Carbon filter material helps provide relief against nuisance levels of acid gases*
- Adjustable M-noseclip adjusts easily for fewer pressure points and greater comfort
This disposable P95 particulate respirator helps provide reliable respiratory protection against certain oil and non-oil based particles. The respirator features a carbon layer to remove nuisance levels of acid gases.