Health article

COVID-19 and face masks: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) recommends that each one folks age 2 years and older put on a face masks when they’re in a public area. It’s best to put on a masks:

  • Any time you allow your private home to exit in public and if you find yourself round individuals who do not stay in your family
  • Any time you’re in a public setting, reminiscent of at a grocery retailer or pharmacy or when utilizing public or mass transportation

How Masks Assist Shield Individuals From COVID-19


COVID-19 spreads to folks inside shut contact (about 6 toes or 1.8 meters). When somebody with the sickness coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice, respiratory droplets spray into the air. You and others can catch the sickness for those who breathe in these droplets, or for those who contact these droplets after which contact your eye, nostril, mouth, or face.

Carrying a face masks over your nostril and mouth retains droplets from spraying out into the air if you find yourself talking, coughing, or sneezing. Carrying a masks additionally helps hold you from touching your face.

Even for those who do not suppose you may have been uncovered to COVID-19, it is best to nonetheless put on a face masks if you find yourself out in public. Individuals can have COVID-19 and never have signs. Typically signs do not seem for about 5 days after an infection. Some folks by no means have signs. So you may have the illness, not realize it, and nonetheless cross COVID-19 to others.

Understand that carrying a face masks doesn’t substitute social distancing. It’s best to nonetheless hold social distancing by staying at the very least 6 toes (1.8 meters) from different folks. Utilizing face masks and working towards social distancing collectively additional helps forestall COVID-19 from spreading, together with washing your palms usually and never touching your face.

About Face Masks

When selecting a face masks, comply with these suggestions:

  • Masks ought to embody at the very least two or extra layers.
  • Material masks must be made of cloth that may be laundered in a washer and dryer. Some masks embody a pouch the place you may insert a filter for added safety.
  • The face masks ought to match snugly over your nostril and mouth, and towards the edges of your face, and secured beneath your chin. When you usually want to regulate your masks, it doesn’t match accurately.
  • When you put on glasses, search for masks with a nostril wire to assist forestall fogging. Antifogging sprays can also assist.
  • Safe the masks to your face utilizing ear loops or ties.
  • Ensure you can breathe comfortably by means of the masks.
  • Don’t use masks which have a valve or vent, which may enable virus particles to flee.
  • You shouldn’t select masks supposed for well being care employees, reminiscent of N-95 respirators (known as private protecting tools, or PPE). As a result of these are at the moment briefly provide, precedence to PPE is reserved for well being care suppliers and medical first responders.
  • Neck tubes or gaiters ought to have two layers or be folded over itself to make two layers of safety.
  • In chilly climate, scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas must be worn over masks. They can’t be used instead of masks, as most have a unfastened knit materials or openings that enable air to cross by means of.
  • Face shields usually are not advisable to be used instead of face masks at the moment.

You may make a face masks utilizing house supplies comprised of cotton reminiscent of a pillowcase or a t-shirt. The CDC has directions on methods to make a face masks at house.

Learn to correctly put on and take care of a fabric face masks:

  • Wash your palms earlier than putting the masks in your face in order that it covers each your nostril and mouth. Modify the masks in order that there aren’t any gaps.
  • After getting the masks on, don’t contact the masks. When you should contact the masks, wash your palms instantly or use hand sanitizer with at the very least 60% alcohol.
  • Hold the masks on all the time you’re in public. Don’t slip the masks down in your chin or neck, put on it beneath your nostril or mouth or up in your brow, put on it solely in your nostril, or dangle it from one ear. This makes the masks ineffective.
  • In case your masks turns into moist, it is best to change it. It is useful to have a spare with you if you’re exterior within the rain or snow. Retailer moist masks in a plastic bag till you may launder them.
  • As soon as you come back house, take away the masks by touching solely the ties or ear loops. Don’t contact the entrance of the masks or your eyes, nostril, mouth, or face. Wash your palms after eradicating the masks.
  • Launder fabric masks together with your common laundry utilizing laundry detergent and dry them in a heat or sizzling dryer at the very least as soon as a day if used that day. If washing by hand, wash in faucet water utilizing laundry cleaning soap. Rinse nicely and air dry.
  • Don’t share masks or contact masks utilized by different folks in your family.

Face masks shouldn’t be worn by:

  • Youngsters youthful than age 2
  • Individuals with respiration issues
  • Anybody who’s unconscious or who’s unable to take away the masks on their very own with out assist

For some folks, or in some conditions, carrying a face masks could also be troublesome. Examples embody:

  • Individuals with mental or developmental disabilities
  • Youthful kids
  • Being in a state of affairs the place the masks could get moist, reminiscent of at a pool or out within the rain
  • When doing intensive actions, reminiscent of operating, the place a masks makes respiration troublesome
  • When carrying a masks could trigger a security hazard or improve the danger of heat-related sickness
  • When speaking to people who find themselves deaf or hard-of-hearing who depend on lipreading for communication

In these kind of conditions, staying at the very least 6 toes away from others is especially essential. Being exterior also can assist. There could also be different methods to adapt as nicely, for instance, some face masks are made with a bit of clear plastic so the wearer’s lips will be seen. You can too discuss together with your well being care supplier to debate different methods to adapt to the state of affairs.

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