If used correctly, a surgical mask is designed to help block large particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splashes that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), preventing them from reaching the mouth and nose. Surgical masks can also help reduce the exposure of saliva and respiratory secretions to others. Do masks work? And if so, should you look for an N95, a surgical mask, a cloth mask or a bellows? Learn how to improve your mask protection by visiting the CDC Improve How Your Mask Protects You page. Cloth masks are those without a test standard that include cotton masks, self-made cloth masks and other substitutes.
Until now, research communities have not been able to provide conclusive and unified comments on the effectiveness of masks on fundamental mechanisms and specific functions, although all states in the United States have recently issued requirements for face masks. More recently, a study found that communities with mask mandates had lower hospitalization rates than areas where masks were not required. For protection against inhalation, air filter respirators, such as N95 masks, can filter contaminants, bacteria and other matter so that they do not reach the nose and mouth, and are more efficient in inhibiting virus penetration than masks. described above, although not all face masks are regulated as surgical masks.
The study subjects wore different types of masks equipped with special receivers that could measure the concentration of particles on both sides of the masks. The study found that the tight-fitting N95 mask is the best option to avoid COVID-19, followed by the surgical mask. And a Tennessee study found that communities with mask mandates had lower hospitalization rates than areas where masks were not required. While all laboratory studies show that a mask can protect the wearer, the performance of masks in the real world depends on a number of variables, including how consistently people wear them, whether a person is in high-risk situations, and the rate of infection in the community.
Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection against germs and other contaminants due to the loose fit between the surface of the mask and the face. A CDC study showed how a surgical mask could reduce the risk of wearer exposure by almost 65% by twice tying the loops and tucking the sides of the mask to close the gaps. Anyone who doubts whether masks work just needs to watch how airborne diseases decrease in areas with high mask compliance. Gaps may be due to choosing the wrong size or type of mask and when wearing a mask with facial hair.