Life is at threat with the swift spread of Coronavirus. With its roots in China’s Wuhan, the virus has made its way to various countries and killed many already. It is a threat because the speed at which it is spreading wasn’t anticipated. The number of people infected with this virus is 96000 while the number of lives taken is 3304.
India was breathing a sigh of relief when only three cases had been reported from Kerala. The peace couldn’t sustain because there is news about several cases from several parts of the country including the capital. As of now, 31 cases of the novel Coronavirus has been reported in India.
“Prevention is better than cure”. While many could follow this phrase, death chose them. Now, for the remaining, it is utmost essential that precautions be taken. One of the most effective ways considered so far is staying masked. While there are many masks available for your use, N95 is the mask known for being effective. It doesn’t allow the infection to reach you. The name of this mask is N95 respirator. Are you interested in learning more about this effective respirator? Continue reading and know everything you need to know.
N95 Respirator: What is it?
Well, it is no different from other masks in terms of its use; however, what makes this respirator different is the thick filter. Infectious agents fail to enter the mouth or nose of a person wearing it. In short, it is an extreme need of the hour item that one can’t miss out on. Is it that easy to be worn?
The answer lies in this article as we also cover how you need to use it and if there are any precautions you must take. At present, this respirator is being used by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They are using it to prevent themselves from the spread of Coronavirus. On the other hand, there are still doubts about its use by the general public.
Restrictions on Public Use of N95 Respirator
There are several reasons behind not making N95 readily available for the public. The points are listed.
- There is specific training on how to fit the respirator around ones’ cheek and nose. This training is not available for the general public
- It is not an easy task to breathe with this respirator on
- There are restrictions on breathing through the edges of the respirator
- One can easily feel suffocated due to the thick lining that the mask is made of
- As it is a compact mask, the area inside the mask gets moistened and warm giving you the feeling of claustrophobic
- It can be worn only for a short duration
- The respirator is particularly for healthcare professionals in close contact with patients diagnosed with coronavirus
- Also, if available for everyone, people who are in desperate need may not find it easily
If those are the restrictions, who can actually wear the mask? Let’s find that out.
Who should wear the mask?
With the fear of being infected by Coronavirus, everyone wants to get hold of this mask. However, there are a few conditions under which people can get this mask.
- Of course, the first on the list is the one diagnosed with coronavirus. They must wear this mask so that the infection doesn’t spread to others
- People in close contact with Coronavirus affected patients such as doctors, nurses, hospital staff and other healthcare professionals
- Children are not advised to wear this mask and so are the people who have a beard or heavy facial hair
How does the mask help?
You will be surprised to know that the material with which this N95 mask is made prevents 95% of the airborne diseases to impact you. Moreover, unwanted gas, polluted air and other harmful agents are prevented by this mask. It is definitely helpful for preventing Coronavirus. It is also believed that the mask prevents one not only from Coronavirus but also from H1N1.
Though you will not be 100% protected by using an N95 mask, it will help you to a much better extent than normal masks, especially better than a handkerchief.
One point to remember is if the mask doesn’t fit well, one may not be safe 100% even after you have been constantly using it.
How does it differ from other surgical masks?
There are many differences between an N95 mask and any surgical mask. We have the answer to your curiosity.
- While the N95 mask is made to fit one’s face perfectly, other masks are loose and ill-fitted and may not cover one’s face that effectively
- The filters are made of thick material and efficient filters while the filters of other surgical masks are thin and not compact
- N95 prevents one from airborne and liquid infections while surgical masks prevent infections only from droplets
- One may find difficulty in breathing wearing N95 whereas it is simple to wear any surgical mask
- Pharmacies don’t keep N95 respirators whereas you can easily find a surgical mask in a pharmacy
- N95 mask has the quality of being disposed or reused whereas a surgical mask needs to be disposed
- One cannot wear an N95 mask for longer duration whereas one can wear a surgical mask for long
- N95 prevents one from coronavirus while a surgical mask only helps you to stay away from dust and pollutants
Steps to Wear an N95 Mask
- First of all, you must wash your hands with soaps or liquid rubs that are alcohol-based
- Now, use the mask to cover the cheek and nose in such a way that it is not ill-fitted
- Avoid touching the mask when it is in use
- If you touch it by mistake, wash your hand immediately just as in the first step
- On feeling suffocated, take the mask off your face. Ensure you take the mask off from the behind without touching the front
Stay away from Coronavirus and stay safe!