Can a Face Mask Protect from Coronavirus?

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak has gone out of control, the experts are suggesting to follow the self-care preventions. There is currently no vaccine or treatment medicine available that helps against coronavirus. So the only thing that could help are precautionary measures.

Most of the drugstores have reported high demand for personal hygiene equipment in coronavirus affected areas. Dozens of Amazon suppliers are literally out of stock after their commodities are purchased in bulk. The particular shortage that is observant is a face mask, hand sanitizers, and cleaning sprays. This shortage is now taking to international suppliers and even the companies in the USA are worried about a potential shortage of these things.

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On the other side, the experts are warning that these “disposable masks” are of no use and it might do more harm than any benefit as it is not just limited for medical staff but the whole nation is buying it. It is causing a rocketing shortage of face masks for the actual medical staff that needs it the most. The experts suggest following only basic health hygiene to prevent coronavirus i.e. hand wash with soap and warm water.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner is an expert in infectious disease and currently works at Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA. He says;  “Fear spreads a lot faster than the virus. A mask makes you feel better, but you’re missing the more important protective measures.”

But, wearing a face mask could be helpful, for others. The main reason surgeons use these masks is to prevent sneezing or coughing during surgery which could otherwise infect the wounds. All of the emergency room staff and the visitors are required to wear it to save the patient and other people at the hospital after the surgery.  So hospital staff, on purpose wears these masks during patient checking and procedures especially with immune suppressed people who are at high risk of microbial infections.

If a person is already sick, using a face mask is good for him. In this way, he would save the rest from germs. For example, it is good to use a mask in crowded public transport which would reduce the degree of cough and sneeze droplets to spread and infect other people and surfaces. Alex Azar is the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. She says;

“But for everyone else, the masks are simply “unnecessary,”

If this mask shortage continues, experts worry that it would affect all healthcare units especially those which are battling with coronavirus at most. The specific. N-95 respirator masks, are more efficient and helpful to provide filtered effects and save the health workers from infections.

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For all viral infections such as flu and the common cold, the best if to protect yourself by following good personal hygiene and avoid unnecessary public interaction. The easiest of all is to wash hands frequently with warm water and good quality soap. Do not touch face and mouth if someone suspects that he is infected.

The World Health Organization suggests using warm water and scrubbing of palms with a large dollop of any good quality soap. Make sure to interlace and clasp the fingers, thumbs and back of the palms. Ideally, this handwashing process would only take 40 to 60 seconds.

These hygiene practices apply to almost all respiratory illnesses. However, they may not be 100% protective against coronavirus, yet it would do “some” good.  Apparently, Flu is a bigger concern for Americans than coronavirus which annually affects millions of people.

If someone has not traveled to China or interacted with someone who has recently been to China, the risk of coronavirus is significantly low. On the other side, nearly 26 million US citizens became a victim of flu since October 2019 and at least 10000 of them have expired, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All in all, these self-centered precautions like face masks would help against flu, common cold and to some extent, coronavirus too.