So I have been reading about masks. Are they effective in preventing the spread of disease? How do they really work? After reading through dozens of articles, both overseas and Australian ones from respected sources. (by respected I mean, mainstream newspapers, research reports and health journals) I think I now have a good idea on the question if masks work in preventing germs and viruses from the wearer.
Micro Water Droplets
So what does "micro water droplets" have to do with masks? The answer is everything. The sole intention of facemasks is to minimize or eliminate water droplets from being inhaled.
Therefore to answer the question, if masks indeed are useful, we must answer the question. Do face masks reduce or eliminate inhaled water droplets? The answer to this question is a unanimous yes, from all the websites I have read.
All surgical quality, N95, KN95 masks will block out moisture and water droplets. As the letters and numbers suggest, an N95 mask, when used properly, is designed to block 95% of micro particles.
So yes, face masks do protect you from germs and viruses.
What Type of Masks Are the Best
The best type of masks is the mask that is worn regularly. The N95 masks are great, (i have worn them many times, of course), but they are hard to breathe in and challenging to wear consistently every day. So choose masks that you feel you can live with every day. They will all offer you good enough protection.
The Caveats to Face Masks Being Effective
As with most things, that sounds too good to be true; there are indeed caveats when it comes to facemask effectiveness.
Number 1: Wearing a facemask will not protect you from germs if you do not adhere to general hygiene. In other words, do not get lulled into a false sense of security.
Number 2: The mouth is not the only entry point for germs. Eyes, Nose and Ears may be entry points for germs and viruses as such facemasks are not 100%. Does that mean you should not wear a mask? Absolutely not. What we are talking about here is using masks to minimize the risk of getting sick, not eliminating the risk of getting sick.
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