The issue of face masks during the coronavirus pandemic is a topic of constant discussion. Given the recommendation made by many countries of the continued use of protection to go outside, the WHO has given its opinion.
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Knowing if we have to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic has become one of the great doubts that has led many to a constant search for information. Both the general population and those who have to make the decisions debate between the use or not of the protection material.
The World Health Organization (WHO) itself has intervened, as we will see later, postulating some clarifying points on the matter. In any case, there are countries and regions in which it has already been implemented as law and, therefore, they must be used yes or yes.
Anyway, it is important to know what are the correct uses and, mainly, what are the elements that are recommended for each situation. A face mask is not the same as a surgical mask, as all masks are not the same.
We are going to explain the types of nasal-oral protection that exist, and then comment on what the WHO says about it. Finally, we will raise some usage issues that must be met for usage to make sense .
As you will see, and we anticipate it, not all of us should wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic , but we should wear masks when required.
Types of masks and facemasks to use during the pandemic
In this coronavirus pandemic we have the question of whether or not we have to use masks. Well, first of all, we must abide by the legal indications of the place where we reside . If the authorities require masks to circulate, there is no point of debate.
But a face mask is not the same as a surgical mask, nor is it a mask . The former are objects made of non-filtering materials. Its function is to decrease the dispersion of respiratory droplets from an infected to the environment. In other words, they do not protect a person from becoming infected.
Then we have the surgical chinstrap, which is the classic pleated rectangle that hooks behind the ears and has no filter either. Like the mask, it does not prevent a person from becoming infected, but rather reduces the dispersion of respiratory droplets . It is a physical barrier.
Ultimately, filter masks come in 3 basic varieties, according to their filtering capacity . The first ones are FFP1, which are not capable of stopping viral particles . The second and third levels -FFP2 and FFP3- are recommended to prevent contagions, since their filtering capacity ranges between 92% and 98%.
The use of special masks should be reserved for professional health personnel. The general population should wear masks.
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What does the WHO recommend?
The World Health Organization has prepared a document with recommendations so that we know whether we should all wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic or not. This document is frequently modified according to new evidence that is frequently available.
The WHO clarifies that, so far, there are no scientific studies that have verified the effectiveness of the use of masks in the general population . This does not mean that its use is discouraged, but rather that there are no specific investigations.
Ideally, homemade face masks should be used, so as not to end the availability of the protection elements that could be used by health teams. Both surgical masks and masks are limited and there are geographical areas where they are not abundant. The priority is health professionals.
Country decision makers have to consider these recommendations. The WHO suggests that the use should not be established until the stock is secured for health professionals. Similarly, there must be a strong advertising campaign that explains the correct use .
There are differences between a face mask, a chinstrap and a mask. Each item has its precise indication.
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Technique for wearing the mask
Chinstraps, masks and masks have a correct use technique . The effectiveness of the measure depends on the correct use .
The way to take off the protection when you get home is essential. The region in contact with the mouth and nose should not be touched when removing it. In addition, it is convenient to leave the mask in a specific area of the house.
If the face mask becomes wet during use on public roads , it must be replaced. Moisture decreases the filtering capacity of respiratory droplets . Similarly, the same face mask should not be used to enter different places; For this, it is recommended to have at least two options.
Although it is called a mask, the function is fulfilled if it covers the mouth and nose . Both cavities can expel respiratory droplets, so both must be covered.
Should we wear face masks during the pandemic?
In conclusion, if the use of masks is legislated in our geographical area, we must use them . What is important is the correct use and understand what it is used for. What is intended is to decrease the air circulation of respiratory droplets, but for no reason prevents us from getting contagious, acting as a barrier.