What type of mask is recommended to wear amid the spread of “Omicron”? An expert explains

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN)–The US Centers for Disease Control and Control (CDC) issued new guidelines last week urging Americans to wear high-quality, well-fitting, and always able to wear masks.

The agency classified masks according to the level of protection they provide.

And she explained, “The masks made of tissue give the lowest rate of protection, while the same two-layer mask provides more protection, and the medical masks are tight on the face, and the KN95 mask gives greater protection after, and secures the tight breathing masks on the face licensed by the National Institute of Occupational Health.” And safety, including N95, is the highest degree of protection.”

For months, many public health experts, including CNN medical analyst Liana Wayne, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, have been encouraging.

Wayne, author of Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health, answered some common questions about masks.

Why is the CDC encouraging this modification to mask guidelines?

Dr. Liana Wayne: We have known for more than a year that “Covid-19” is airborne, so the quality of the mask is important to reduce airborne transmission. This is especially important as we are currently facing a rapidly spreading omicron. Based on this, we must enable people to use the appropriate, high-quality mask to protect them.

What type of mask do you advise people to wear?

In crowded and enclosed spaces, I highly recommend people to wear an N95, KN95, or KF94 respirator.

The quality of the N95 respirator complies with American standards, the KN95 respirator complies with Chinese standards, and KF94 complies with Korean standards. All of them are very effective in terms of protecting against the transmission of “Covid-19”.

The Centers for Disease Control emphasizes the use of these masks regularly.

Some people will find these respirator masks uncomfortable, so I suggest they try different types of them.

Someone may find the N95 too stiff, but may be comfortable using a KN95 respirator, while others prefer the feel of the KF94.

In addition to some of them having elastic bands on the ears instead of the head, and there are various preferences among people in this area as well.

What if someone doesn’t find any of these masks comfortable?

Wayne: If a person cannot wear respirator masks constantly, they should wear a double mask made of fabric and elaborately woven over a medical surgical mask.

Do we use an N95 respirator with a valve or without a valve?

Wayne: I’d recommend looking for N95 respirators that don’t have an exhalation valve. Those that have valves protect the wearer well, but it’s possible that if infected, virus particles might leak through them to infect others. However, the level of virus escaping is very low.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, N95 respirators with an exhalation valve work just as well as surgical respirators or cloth respirators in terms of protecting others.

Therefore, if the valved N95 is the only mask you can afford to wear, you should wear it, but the valveless N95 is recommended.

And be sure to test the KN95 or KF94 respirators, they may be more comfortable for you.

These masks are expensive. Should you use it once and then throw it away?

Wayne: No, it can be reused.

Re-use depends on its condition and the time during which it was used.

A person who only uses this mask to go to the grocery store can use the same mask for weeks. While someone else who uses it all day at work has to replace it every few days.

I advise using logic when deciding when to replace the muzzle.

Throw them away if they are dented, wet or dirty, and if you sneezed in them, for example.

Is it possible to clean it?

Wayne: No, and I wouldn’t advise you to try that.

Spraying the mask with disinfectant or water, or placing it in the microwave, may damage it beyond repair.

Some people may feel anxious about carrying a mask for the virus.

There is evidence that superficial transmission of “Covid-19” is rare, but if you want to be reassured, be sure to use two or three masks, alternately every day. And when you finish the muzzle for the day, put it in a bag or bowl, use another one the next day, and then go back to the first one the next day.

And remember that when it gets dirty or becomes damp, you should throw it away and use a new one.

What about children, can they also wear respirator masks?

Wayne: There are some KFN94 and KN95 masks available for children, but the fit of the mask to the face is very important.

Some children find this type of mask comfortable, if this is not the case, a surgical mask with a cloth face mask is a good alternative.

There is a lot of mystery about the Omicron and COVID-19 in general. Is there at least certainty about the importance of wearing masks?

Wayne: Yes, masks are an important layer of protection, especially when so many viruses spread.

And know that even if those around you remove their masks constantly, you can wear a high-quality mask, as it provides you with the necessary protection.

And I really want people to raise the quality of the masks they are constantly wearing, when they are indoors, or crowded.

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