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World Europe’s growing mask ask: Ditch the cloth ones for medical-grade coverings

14:57  20 january  2021
14:57  20 january  2021 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Medical grade N95 masks are very unpleasant to wear (you sweat under them because they need to sit absolutely tight), they need filter Cloth face coverings are at least accessible for the public, they can be washed and reused and are more easily available because the private sector is manufacturing

Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. However, some localities may have mask mandates while out in public, please check for the rules in your locality. CDC continues to study the effectiveness of different types

BERLIN ­—Faced with new, more contagious, strains of coronavirus and a winter surge in cases, European nations have begun to tighten mask regulations in the hope that they can slow the spread of the virus.

Face masks of the category FFP2 wait for further processing at the production line of Moldex-Metric, a German producer of protective work wear, in Walddorfhaeslach, southern Germany, on Jan. 20, 2021. © Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images Face masks of the category FFP2 wait for further processing at the production line of Moldex-Metric, a German producer of protective work wear, in Walddorfhaeslach, southern Germany, on Jan. 20, 2021.

Germany on Tuesday night made it mandatory for people riding on public transport or in supermarkets to wear medical style masks: either N95s, the Chinese or European equivalent KN95 or FFP2s, or a surgical mask.

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Cloth masks have been used in healthcare and community settings to protect the wearer from respiratory infections. Multilayer cloth masks , designed to fit around the face and made of water-resistant fabric with a high number of threads and finer weave, may provide reasonable protection.

Participants in the cloth mask and control group (if they used cloth masks ) were also asked to From this, they conclude that cloth masks should not be used, because improper wet disinfection can lead Can diving snorkel masks be retrofitted with a medical grade filter (or a portable air bottle) for

It follows a stricter regulation from the German state of Bavaria this week that required N95 equivalents in stores and on public transport. Austria will introduce the same measures from Monday.

[CDC recommends people wear masks indoors when not at home]

Meanwhile in France, the country’s health advisory council on Monday discouraged the wearing of inefficient cloth and homemade masks, also arguing they may not offer sufficient protection against the more highly transmissible coronavirus variants.

“Since we don’t have any new weapons against them, the only thing we can do is improve the ones we already have,” Daniel Camus, a member of the council, told France’s public broadcaster.

The new European recommendations follow increases in supply since the early days of the pandemic, when there were concerns that the use of medical masks by the public would mean there would not be enough for front line medical workers. But critics still point to the cost for families and the impact on the environment, while there are still debates over the helpfulness of such measures.

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Medical - grade masks block microorganisms from reaching the wearer’ s nose and mouth. It is not clear whether this applies to homemade face coverings as well. One small study looked at 39 volunteers who had end stage renal disease and received dialysis during the SARS pandemic in 2003.

“ Cloth face coverings may help prevent the spread of #COVID19 when they are widely used in public settings. The CDC also admits cloth masks are not a suitable replacement for medical - grade masks , casting further doubt on the call for widespread, homemade face coverings .

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that has indicated that mask use in general can help prevent the spread of coronavirus. One study published in the Lancet medical journal in June compared transmission rates across 16 countries and found that “both N95 and surgical masks have a stronger association with protection compared with single-layer masks.”

Another, by Duke University in August, compared the efficacy of different face coverings and found that fitted N95 masks were the most effective. Normal surgical masks are about three times more effective than cloth masks in preventing the spread of virus droplets, according to a 2013 study.

Still, the World Health Organization currently advises that medical masks be restricted to medical workers, people who have covid-19 symptoms, those coming into contact with them, and those that are over 60 or at high risk. It recommends fabric masks for the general public.

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compares cloth mask and cloth mask + 4 layers of paper toel and finds a great improvement with the addition of paper towel also compares filtration efficiency of homemade mask compared to medical mask & n95 (not accounting for fit, but otherwise the numbers are in line with other studies)

Making your own face mask . Now that major cities are asking all residents to cover up, it might be time to get crafty. ABC News’ Will Ganss has the hacks "In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to

And while French health authorities are recommending the use of masks that filter a high ratio of particles, such as surgical masks and industrial equivalents, they actually discourage public use of the higher grade fitted masks like the FFP2.

The possibility of them being worn incorrectly may actually increase transmission risks, France’s health advisory council argued.

However, Markus Söder, the state premier of Bavaria, said that the decision to require them there was “very simple.”

“If the virus becomes more dangerous, the mask has to get better,” said Söder. He said he thought it was “absolutely necessary” to have a higher level of protection on public transport and in retail and work places.

Chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel cited the new mutation that had driven what she described as a “huge increase” in infections in Britain and Ireland as the reason for the new nationwide regulations. It is not yet known how extensively it has spread in Germany “but scientists tell us that it is not yet dominant,” she said.

Another new variant was found in a hospital in Bavaria this week, though it is not clear if it is more contagious or deadly than the dominant strains.

“There is still time to contain the danger,” said Merkel. “So it’s about prevention.”

Wearing a mask isn’t just about protecting other people, the CDC says. It can help you — and might prevent lockdowns. Consumer masks could soon come with labels saying how well they work FAQ: What you need to know about masks and covid-19

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This is interesting!