COVID-19: What's the Best Material for a Mask?

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Governments and healthcare professionals are now recommending wearing face masks. It is a reality that China was able to contain the pandemic with different measures and one of them was the mandatory use of the mask; Along with this, he sent donations to countries such as Italy and Spain to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

Many centers of control and prevention of the disease are uploading to the master networks to make masks at home with easily available items. Simply covering the face can reduce the spread of the virus by blocking germs that come out by coughing or sneezing from an infected person. Experts say there is a variation of effectiveness in homemade masks depending on how it fits the face and the material used.

Scientists have been in charge of testing the work to filter microscopic particles from different materials. Fabrics like vacuum cleaner bags, 600 thread count pillowcases and flannel pajama-like ones performed well. Layered coffee filters had average scores. Scarves and scarf material had the lowest scores, yet still captured a small percentage of particles.

If you don't have any of the materials mentioned above, you can test yourself by exposing the fabric to light. "Hold it up to bright light" said Dr. Scott Segal, president of anesthesiology for Wake Forest Baptist Health, who recently did a study on homemade face masks. If the light passes very easily through the fibers and you can almost see them, it is not a good fabric. If it is a thicker material and the light does not pass through it much, it means that it is a material that you can use.

The researchers say it is important to note that the labs that perform these tests do so under controlled conditions and there are no openings or gaps between the mask and face. And while some masks made at home seem to have low protection, ordinary people do not need more protection as long as they also maintain social distance and stay at home, but not health professionals who work with infected people. Furthermore, any kind of face protection is better than none, especially if you are someone who is infected with the virus and does not know it yet. Another alternative that many are using is a face shield made of a plastic sheet that completely covers the face. This serves to protect not only the nose and mouth, but also the eyes, which are also an area of possible contagion.

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