Since the Renaissance era, between the 14th and 16th centuries, people have been recorded covering their noses and mouths with tissues to prevent the spread of diseases. However, respiratory mask only began to appear in the late 19th century with respiratory mask filter subscription, around 1897. At the time, the equipment consisted of a scarf tied around the face, but without the proper filters.
More than a century later, surgical masks (N95 mask) have evolved and become one of the main Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for doctors and health professionals. However, with the spread of Covid-19, the demand for this equipment grew on a large scale. Manufacturing did not meet the demand and it is now increasingly difficult to find them.
As plan b, PM2.5 filter masks started to become popular. But do they really work? In an interview with medical experts, they answer the main questions:
Do PM2.5 filter masks protect against Covid-19?
PM2.5 filter mask does not guarantee the same protection as N95 reusable mask. And the less suitable the material, the less the mask will retain and the lower the level of protection. But they help to minimize the risk. For example, a PM 2.5 mask made with respiratory mask filter subscription will protect to enough level, now if the mask has N95 mask sheet, it guarantees greater protection.
Do tissue masks have the same functionality as those used in the hospital environment?
No. No tissue mask replaces the masks used by doctors and health professionals in the care. The only mask that really guarantees the doctor’s protection is the N95 reusable mask for health care professionals and PM2.5 filter mast for public.
Who is in contact with a suspected case of Covid-19 can wear homemade mask?
Those who need a respiratory mask for self-protection because they are close to infected people should use the N95 mask.
Will encouraging the use of PM2.5 masks help to reduce contagion?
The purpose of these masks is to try to reduce the circulation of viruses in the environment. Many people are asymptomatic and are spreading the virus.
How to optimize the use of PM2.5 masks?
The material, mask size and correct use determine the level of protection. So, in relation to size, one needs to cover his/her nose, mouth and adhere to the face, including covering below the chin. No home-made mask is as good as the one with respiratory mask filter subscription, but the more closed it is, the more it protects. After use, the ideal is disposal.
What care is needed when handling the mask?
Before putting it on, wash your hands thoroughly or wash yourself with gel alcohol. Before taking it off or if you need to adjust it, you must maintain the same care. But it is important to know the correct way to wash your hand. The ideal is to wash for at least 40 seconds.
I don’t have contact with any infected person; do I need to wear a mask? Who really needs to use it?
In my opinion, everyone should use it. If we want to flatten the infected curve, we need to ensure that everyone wears the masks.