In the past months, most experts have started to talk about the importance of wearing double masks over and over. Generally, it was said that a fabric mask should be worn over the surgical mask. US infectious diseases specialist Anthony S. Fauci said in a TV show he attended in January, “There is a consensus that if you add another layer on a layer of mask, it will be more effective”.
A report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February revealed that wearing a fabric mask with multiple layers on the surgical mask significantly increased protection against the virus. It was stated that knotting the ear rubber of disposable surgical masks and curling the parts close to the face was similarly protective.
Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, underlined that it is not always necessary for everyone to wear double masks. Gandhi recommended that people who have to stay in closed areas and crowded environments for a long time should wear double masks in places where the risk of the spread of the virus is high. He also said that people who are more medically susceptible to the virus, such as those with chronic conditions, should consider wearing double masks.
What should be done to wear the masks most effectively?
Experts emphasize that the mask should fit your face perfectly. In order for the mask you wear to work, it must hold your face tightly and completely cover your nose and mouth. “If your mask does not fit your face properly, if you have large gaps under your nose, cheeks or chin, it can be said that your mask is not effective in protecting you,” says Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group. If your mask is properly layered it can be as effective as N95s. N95s are seen by most experts as the gold standard.
Infectious diseases specialist Monica Gandhi and Professor Linsey Marr, who works on the airborne transmission of infectious diseases, offer advice on wearing a mask to provide the highest protection:
The first option: Wear a multi-layered and tight fabric mask over your surgical mask. While the surgical mask prevents the virus from entering your respiratory system, the fabric mask will create a physical barrier against the virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is not necessary to wear another layer of masks on N95 type masks. He also states that wearing another mask on such masks will prevent the N95 from being effective and will make it difficult for the person to breathe.
Second option: Wear three-ply masks made of a material whose outer layers are tightly woven, the middle layer non-woven forming a high-impact filter. Stating that wearing a second layer of masks should not be confused with wearing layers of fabric, Gandhi adds that the second layer does not have to function like a surgical mask.
Finally, experts underline that you need to change your mask when you sneeze or your mask gets moist for various reasons (sweating, etc.). For this reason, it is very important that you carry a spare mask with you.
Compiled and translated by: Dilara Preserve
Referans: The Washington Post. FAQ: Single or double? The latest advice on masks and covid.. Şuradan alınmıştır: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/09/30/mask-guidelines-covid-faq/?arc404=true