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Stop buying face masks to protect against coronavirus, says US surgeon general

por Joey Fulford (2020-04-13)


id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> People across the world are wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus

\uce74\uc774\ub85c, \uc774\uc9d1\ud2b8 [4 \uc5ec\ud589 \ub9ac\ubdf0] [\ub098\ub294 \uc5b4\ub514\uc5d0\uc11c \ub0a0 \uc218 \uc788\ub2c8? - \ud55c\uad6d\uc5b4]Getty Images Walk around any crowded area during flu season and you'll see people wearing medical face masks to protect themselves from germs and other contaminants. With the rapid spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and increased concerns about a US outbreak, face masks have flown off store shelves. But do they really work?

Disposable face masks block large particles from entering your mouth, while more tight-fitting N95 respirator masks are far more effective at shielding you from airborne illnesses. Both of these masks could potentially help protect you from getting a viral infection, but US government officials have emphasized that the American public should not purchase face masks to prevent themselves from getting infected. Instead, only people 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!
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— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020 Adams' tweet echoes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'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 Walmart.com.

Now playing: Watch this: Coronavirus and COVID-19: Everything you need to know 5:50 A better way to protect yourself from coronavirus
Despite the 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. 

You can also use hand sanitizer to clean your hands if you don't have access to running water, but you shouldn't make your own if you can't buy it.

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.

More on the coronavirus

Coronavirus: All your questions answered

Coronavirus: Latest updates

How face masks work and who should wear them (hint: very few of you)

Hand sanitizer can't fully protect you from getting sick
Face mask vs. respirator
This NIOSH-approved N95 respirator will prevent airborne particles from entering.

3M If you've ever been to the dentist, 바카라사이트 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. 

Surgical face masks don't block small particles, but they can prevent liquid from getting on your mouth or in your nose.

Getty Images 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, 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.



ISSN: 1980-5861