The best way to avoid falling sick is to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is recommended by the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The face masks prevent you to get exposed to the harmful virus.
CDC recommends the use of an N95 face mask for health professionals as it filters out even the tiniest of particles that may contain the virus.
Who else can wear N95 masks?
Apart from healthcare professionals, the N95 face mask is also recommended for individuals who get infected with the COVID-19 to avoid the spread of the virus to others around them.
Health care professionals are people who care for people infected with COVID-19 and these masks are mandatory for them to wear.
The reason for the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) not recommending N95 masks for the general public because if plenty of people stock these masks, the masks will go out of stock and will not be available for medical workers which can put their life to risk.
How to use the N95 mask the right way?
If you want to use an N95 face mask, it needs to be used just once. Most N95 masks (NIOSH approved) come with an expiry date. You can check for this date on the packaging of the mask. In case you do not find the instructions on the packaging, make sure you ask the respective manufacturer for the same.
The N95 mask should be disposed of if you find them in a damaged state of not in proper shape. This affects the efficacy of the masks as well as it may not fit properly to cover the face. Also, if the mask becomes dirty or wet you may face difficulties with breathing. On the other hand, if the mask is contaminated with nasal secretions, blood, or any bodily fluids from infected patients then it needs to be disposed of immediately.
About N95 Mask Re-use and Decontamination
An N95 facepiece is made to filter 95% of particles present in the air and is meant to be used once.
Well, due to the short supply of N95 masks during the Corona pandemic, its reuse was considered to help clinical setups.
Though not enough data is available that supports safe reuse and decontamination practices. As far as the masks are concerned, it is vital to know its use and then reuse aspects.