Stop buying face masks to protect against coronavirus, says US Surgeon General


id=“article-body“ class=“row“ section=“article-body“> Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Walk around any crowded area during flu season and you’ll see a common sight: people wearing medical face masks to protect themselves from pollution, germs and other contaminants. With the rapid spread of a new coronavirus (which causes a disease known as COVID-19), and increased concerns that there will be an outbreak in the US, SM카지노 these face masks are flying off drugstore shelves. But do they really work?

Disposable face masks block large particles from entering your mouth, while a more tight-fitting N95 respirator mask is far more effective at shielding you from airborne illnesses. Both of these masks could potentially help protect you from getting a viral infection, but government officials have emphasized that the American public should not purchase face masks to prevent getting infected. Instead, only those who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus should wear masks to prevent the spread of the disease to others. 

On Feb. 29, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted:

Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!

They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!


— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020 Adams‘ tweet echoes the CDC’s guidance that the general public should not use face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus — only those who are exhibiting symptoms should wear masks to protect others. The CDC’s page on COVID-19 treatment and prevention states, „CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.“

Despite that, fears of coronavirus have made finding these masks online difficult. As of Feb. 29, both face masks and N95 respirator masks are either sold out online or marked up significantly, especially on Amazon and

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Despite the very small number of coronavirus cases in the US, many people are eager to protect themselves. The best way to protect yourself from the current coronavirus — and any other virus such as the flu — is to stick to basic hygiene habits. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face (especially your mouth, nose and eyes), sneeze or cough into your elbow, stay home when you’re sick and disinfect surfaces often. 

If, after heeding the above advice, you’ve determined you need a face mask, here’s a primer on the different types and how they work.

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Stop buying face masks to protect against coronavirus, says US Surgeon General

Face mask vs. respirator

This NIOSH-approved N95 respirator will prevent airborne particles from entering.

Ardec If you’ve ever been to the dentist, surgical face masks will look familiar — healthcare professionals use them to prevent the splashing of fluids into their mouths. They’re loose-fitting and allow airborne particles in. People commonly wear face masks in East Asian countries to protect themselves from smog and respiratory diseases, but these masks aren’t designed to block tiny particles from the air.

A face mask’s main purpose is to keep out the liquid of an infected person’s sneeze or cough from entering your mouth or nose (gross, I know). Wearing one can protect you from getting sick if you’re in close contact with someone who is ill and also help prevent you from spreading your illness to someone else, as it’s common practice for medical professions to wear them around sick patients. Face masks can also help prevent hand-to-mouth viral transmissions, because you can’t directly touch your own mouth while wearing one. Viruses, however, can be transmitted through your nose or eyes and virologists say that surgical face masks cannot block airborne viruses from entering your body. 

For that you’ll need a respirator, a tight-fitting protective device worn around the face. When people say „respirator,“ they’re usually referring to the N95 respirator, which gets its name from the fact that it blocks at least 95% of tiny particles. Several brands manufacture N95 respirators, and they come in all different sizes. When shopping for this kind of mask, be sure the packaging says „N95“ — some masks will only say „respirator,“ but if they aren’t marked as N95, you won’t get the full level of protection. 

Dr. Michael Hall, 인터넷바카라 a CDC vaccine provider, said in an email that N95 respirators are the most protective, but that surgical masks can be worn when taking public transport or entering crowded areas to help protect you from other people’s coughs and sneezes.

N95 masks are tricky to put on, so make sure you watch a video or check out a guide on how to fit one to your face. Hall says that the key is to wear the mask firmly around your nose and mouth without any gaps. And once it’s on, leave it on — a respirator that’s only worn sometimes isn’t nearly as effective.

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