N95 Facial Mask – Why So Much Attention..

Though the aCovid-19 virus is hosted by bats, some particular subtype might affect other mammals too, including humans. In a direct manner the virus is contacted from infected birds, mostly household poultry but sometimes wild birds also can infect hunters, tribal people, etc. In an indirect manner the infection can enter the human system via food items infected with the virus, polluted water, objects, air, food, etc. by the bodily secretions or excretions of infected birds. The flu virus being airborne, the contamination within the air may be reasonably high, in cases of epidemic or pandemic proportions. Infected people carry the flu virus with them wherever they travel and spread it in air and on objects they touch via their nasal secretions and bodily discharges.

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE since they are called are equipments designed for health care professionals to use should they be employed in contaminated environments. Nose and mouth respirators or ‘Masks’ are the types most generally used. Bird flu masks are extremely specific pertaining to the truth that the bird flu virus is microscopic and is not easily filtered out of the environment using conventional filters.

These masks are created on the guidelines given by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to filtering efficiency, filters found in the Facial Mask fall under 3 categories, namely Type 95, Type 99 and kind 100. The proportions of microscopic (.3 micron wide) particles filtered out by these filters are 95%, 99% and 99.7%, respectively. Also the filters are categorized based upon filter efficiency degradation and they are hence called, N (non-immune to oil), R (oil resistant) and P (oil proof). Every individual mask is tested in laboratory settings before being approved on the market. But N95 ones are disposable and cannot be cleaned.

The most common ones are N-95 filtering respirators which were approved by NIOSH (also called as Filtering Facepieces) to be effective drastically cutting down exposure risks to airborne viruses like SARS or Avian Influenza. The usage of masks is recommended to people doing work in high contamination situations, like health care workers attending to patients, or field workers associated with destroying the infection sources, etc.

Another set of extremely effective, protective masks are Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). They are more efficient than N-95 masks in offering better protection. They are utilized by persons who cannot wear N-95 masks, like people with facial hair. This battery operated mask has a face piece with breathing tube and filters.

Even though any mask will not be a warranty against influenza infection, they dramatically cut down the likelihood of infection from airborne viruses. It remains to be said however, the capabilities in the masks degrade over time quprnl usage. Aerosols, if found in the working environments, degrade filters even more. Hence, Mask should not be used in combination with 100% reliance, only as one of the preventive tool. Much more, you will find guidelines that need to be adhered to while (re)using such PPE. It is actually hence clear the best defense will not lie in almost any level of measures taken but instead inside the knowledge that these are implemented.