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Meet the protective masks against COVID-19, and make your homemade mask

Check out the masks against the coronavirus: who, when, where and how to use them

Among efforts to contain the HIV epidemic new coronavirus, mayors of Brazilian cities have published decrees in which they oblige or recommend all citizens to wear masks in public environments. The measure follows the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Ministry of Health, which began to recommend the use of the accessory, even the home versions, for those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Contrary to what many people think, mask it serves more to protect the people around them than those who are mask. As the symptoms take time to appear, practically everyone is considered a potential carrier of the virus.

Therefore, the logic behind the obligation to wear a mask: if everyone adheres to it, the overall risk of infection will decrease. Below we list the main types of existing masks, and we also teach you how to make your own homemade mask, so that you have no excuses for not protecting yourself from COVID-19.

Disposable surgical masks

THEsurgical mask, which covers the mouth and nose, is used mainly by doctors and assistants to not infect patients on the operating table. If the user of the mask coughs or sneezes, most of the expelled droplets remain in the mask.

Disposable surgical maskDisposable surgical masks are made of non-woven fabric (TNT)

However, this only works in the long run if themask is regularly changed and disposed of hygienically and safely.In the operating room, the mask should be changed at least every two hours. The same mask used several times can quickly lose its function.

N95 masks for the protection of health professionals

Known for being very effective, its name alludes to the fact that it can block at least 95% microscopic particles carried by the air. It can prevent particles from passing through the 0.3 micron diameter scale. To give you an idea, a human hair has between 70 and 100 microns.

These masks are made with polyester and other synthetic fibers, including layers of tangled fibers that act as a filter to hinder the passage of particles. Its shape adapts to the face, forming a seal that makes it difficult for microparticles to enter through cracks. It is pointed out as one of the most effective, and should be used only once, being discarded shortly thereafter.

Mask N95N95 masks adapt better to the shape of the face, avoiding cracks where microorganisms can pass

Some models even have expiration valves, which makes breathing easier during use. This protection is often used in buildings, where there is frequent exposure to fine dust. It is worth remembering that the model with an expiration valve should not be used in areas that must be sterilized, such as hospital operating rooms.

Filter masks offer better protection

In addition to surgical masks, there are also filter masks both in the disposable version, made from cellulose fiber with a filter element and an expiratory valve, and in synthetic material, to which a filter is attached.

They are used in hospitals when healthcare professionals come into contact with patients with highly infectious diseases, and are used together with others PPE (Individual Protection Equipment), such as eye protection, gloves, aprons and disposable overalls.

According to European Union standards, these masks are divided into three classes of protection, the so-called factor FFP (Filtering Face Pieces Peas Facial Filters, in Portuguese).

Protection level masks FFP-1 they are better than surgical masks, but do not offer the desired protection against viruses. They are useful, for example, for people who work with locksmiths, carpentry or marble, as they trap thicker dust.

Filter Mask FFP-2Filter masks are used in hospitals for cases of highly contagious diseases

Class masks only FFP-3 they protect the user from viruses, bacteria, fungi and, when used correctly, even from highly toxic substances, such as asbestos.

Due to the current scarcity of these masks, the Robert Koch Institute, responsible for disease control and prevention in Germany, advises the use of masks FFP-2 in the case of infectious diseases, however, it is controversial among doctors.

Homemade masks to prevent the population

O Ministry of Health advocates the use of homemade masks for the rest of the population. Yes, they are much less effective, but World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that they can help in specific scenarios. According to infectologists, the homemade mask can guarantee up to 70% protection against the coronavirus.

You can make a barrier mask using thick, two-sided fabric. You do not need technical specifications. It makes a barrier as good as the other masks. The difference is that it has to be washed by the individual himself in order to maintain self-care. If it gets wet, it has to be changed. You can wash it with soap or bleach, letting it soak for about 30 minutes. And never share, because individual use

explained the physician Luiz Henrique Mandetta, former Minister of Health

At an April 3 press conference, the executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Program, Michael Ryan, also touched on the subject:

In certain contexts, using these items to cover airways serves as a mechanical barrier and is not a bad idea.

Michael Ryan, World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Program.

The use of masks has become an important part of the fight COVID-19, disease caused by the new coronavirus. See below how you can make your own mask, and care for maintenance.

Cloth maskCloth mask can guarantee up to 70% protection against the coronavirus.

How to make a homemade mask

The Ministry of Health has released a quick guide on homemade masks, which should have the following characteristics:

  • Thick, two-layer tissue should be used to create a physical barrier to the virus
  • Cotton or other fabric may be used washable – you can reuse an old shirt or pants, curtain cloth or even underwear
  • it is necessary to have elastic or straps to tie above the ear and below the nape – the fabric should not be touched when wearing and removing the mask
  • It must be large enough to cover the nose and mouth, and be close to the face – a 25 x 15 cm rectangle can cover this entire area.
  • Always have more than one mask, to be able to switch between one use and another
  • They must be individual, that is, they cannot be shared between people

The guide shows how to cut a T-shirt to reuse as a mask, in a model that already has tie straps:

Homemade masksWhen cutting the fabric, remember to measure the size of the face protection: ideally forming a 25 x 15 cm rectangle

That way, you protect yourself and reduces risk of contamination by the new coronavirus.

How to use the homemade mask

To increase the efficiency of using the masks, some measures must be taken:

  • At mos must be sanitized before putting on the mask, using alcohol or water and soap
  • To wear and to remove the mask, just touch the elastic or mooring straps, without touching the fabric
  • When attaching the mask, check that there is no cracks between the mask and your face
  • Even with a mask, cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • If the mask is mida or dirty, change to another one that is dry and sanitized
  • After removing the mask, clean your hands again with alcohol or water and soap

How to sanitize the homemade mask

At homemade masks they must be sanitized after every use, as in general viruses can survive between 72 to 96 hours in tissues. See the necessary care:

  • In a bucket or bowl, mix 10 ml of bleach in half a liter of water (500 ml)
  • Dip the mask into this solution, and let it soak for 20 minutes
  • After the sauce, wash normally with water and soap
  • After drying, apply the mask using hot iron

Ready! Your mask is clean and ready to help protect against new coronavirus. But remember: sanitation is only for fabric masks; surgical masks, N95 and other disposable masks must be used only once!

Do not forget that the use of masks no guarantor total protection against the new coronavirus. In addition, it is important to social distancing to avoid contact with likely carriers of the virus. Thus, with combined strategies, we will reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Source: State, CNN Brasil, Ministry of Health