upamfva created the topic: Where to find an N95 or high-filtration mask for Biden's 100-day challenge
Where to find an N95 or high-filtration mask for Biden's 100-day challenge
The Biden administration has issued a mask mandate, requiring individuals to wear masks on federal property, and he's encouraging all Americans to wear them in public for 100 days. Face coverings are also required on planes, trains, buses and at airports, renewing questions about which kinds of masks provide the best protection against COVID-19, as well as where to find them. To get more news about
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The goal of the "100 Days Masking Challenge" is to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which has already claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans. Indeed, a study published on January 19 in the Lancet Digital Health journal Studies found that increasing mask-wearing across the U.S. by just 10% would significantly curb the transmission of the coronavirus.
Mask-wearing is even more effective when the face coverings fit properly and efficiently filter aerosol particles, according to medical experts. In addition to filtration, fit is the most important factor," said Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, founder of global-health platform Patient Knowhow, which curates educational health content for the general public.
"Even if you're wearing a high-quality mask, if it doesn't contact your face, it's going to leak all around. The best masks have a very solid, tight seal so that air doesn't leak. Effectively, a low fit equals low filtration," Srikrishna said.
Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at the Rhode Island Hospital, ranked generally available mask alternatives from most effective to least effective, noting that typically, any kind of face covering is better than none at all.
N95s provide the most filtration, according to Ranney, followed by so-called KN95 masks. Regular surgical masks are the next best option, followed by double-layer cloth masks with a filter worn in-between the two layers. Double-layer and single-layer cloth masks without filters tend to be the least efficient, she said. Anytime you take a step up, you're going to get a little more protection. Within cloth or homemade masks, things that make them better include having two layers of cloth with a filter in between the two layers, like a vacuum bag filter, and having the cloth be tightly woven," Ranney said.
Dr. Tom Frieden, who was the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017, echoed Ranney's advice in a tweet Sunday.
"N95 masks are the most protective masks, followed by three-ply surgical masks, then fabric masks. A fabric mask is a lot better than no mask, but we may need to step up our mask game if contagious Covid variants start to spread widely," he said.