Mar 31, 2020 Cold and Flu
Masks and the Coronavirus
The world is inhabited by around 7.8 Billion humans that is a big number but not as big as the number of bacteria, this equates to 5 million trillion trillion. To put that number in perspective that’s 5 with 30 zeros, the total mass of these bacteria is more than all the plants and animals combined now that’s a lot of bacteria, that’s not including the fungi and viruses either.
While the majority of the bacteria which exist are good bacteria, such as the ones which live in our gut to help aid digestion there are those which also cause ill health. Viruses tend to cause more damage than benefit to our bodies, there are around 219 virus species which are known to cause illness to us. With all the news around the recent Coronavirus outbreak this article will look at ways of keeping yourself healthy and avoid catching any nasty bugs or viruses in general. There has been a huge up-rise in people buying face masks to prevent catching the virus, but does this help?
It is thought that the current Coronavirus spreads through the droplets in the air which is why so many face masks are being bought and used. However its important to remember that although most facemasks will offer some protection there are some key things to note when using one:
There are two types of masks available the N95 respirator and surgical mask. The N95 respirators are better as they filter our 95% of the particles in the air we breathe and can filter out most bacteria and viruses. The N95 respirators give a better seal around the mouth and nose and will offer the best protection. The surgical masks which are more commonly seen are used in a healthcare setting such as the doctors and dentists. These are primarily used to protect the patient from the person using the mask by preventing any droplets from the mouth entering the environment. Surgical masks will provide protection to the user but it won’t be to the same level as the N95 respirator, as they are loose fitting and do not filter the air to the same level.
As stated above masks alone will not be enough to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, good hand hygiene is equally as important. Here are some tips to help ensure you are doing the best you can to protect yourself:
Following the above tips can help keep you safe from any and all viruses however it is nearly impossible to protect yourself 100%. As stated before in the last blog the coronavirus will be more dangerous to those who have pre-existing medical conditions or are immune suppressed. Therefore it is even more important for those who fall under this category to properly look after themselves. If you know of any vulnerable people or neighbours who don’t have anyone to look after them make sure you check on them often to make sure they’re okay.
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