Tips to Wearing a Surgical Mask During Flu Season
In this pandemic period, it’s not surprising to see all the people around maintaining social distance and wearing surgical masks everywhere. Surgical face masks are quite comfortable disposable masks which are approved by FDA for daily use as medical instruments to prevent viruses and germs. Healthcare teams such as doctors, dentists, and nurses necessarily wear surgical masks during their duty hours while providing treatment to patients. Surgical masks avoid exposure to toxic viruses or other harmful germs in the form of droplets coming through the pathways of the nose and mouth. In addition to it, the use of face masks is also an effective way to prevent splashes from people via sneezes and coughs.
Causes of Flu Transmission
Surgical masks are also considered as courtesy masks, referring to the fact that often people use them focusing altruistic concerns i.e. to avoid the spread of germs. It is advised that the flu can be prevented if you stop hand touching your mouth or nose. Besides inhaling droplets that contain germs, there is a possibility that you can suffer from flu if you come in contact with anything that is contaminated by germs such as touching the handles on public transport and afterwards touching your mouth or nose. A research study conducted at New South Wales says that approximately 23 times people touch their faces in an hour. In order to avoid germs transmission, it is a good practice to wear a mask and regularly dispose of the used surgical masks and try to avoid touching your face habitually. It is also a fact that people find it unpleasant to wear masks because of communication difficulties. One study found that among all populations only 21% of people prefer to wear masks upon recommendation.
Guidelines to wear Surgical Masks
It is now mandatory to strictly follow SOPs (i.e. wearing face masks) to prevent viruses while ensuring good health. As we know that, surgical face masks can decrease the risk of the spread of the flu and other toxic viruses, only if used correctly. Following are a few tips on how to wear surgical masks in an appropriate way.
- Before handling the mask, wash or sanitize your hands properly
- While wearing the mask, keep the metallic band of mask at nose and bend it properly so that no dirt particles could enter into it.
- Go through directions mentioned on the packaging of masks thoroughly so that you would get to know which side of the mask is supposed to be kept inwards.
- Maintain a social distance from others and wear a face mask when communicating with a sick person within the range of 6 feet.
- While removing the mask, grab it by the ear loops to prevent germs that have stuck to the outer covering of the mask.
- Avoid reusing the mask and dispose off the mask if it gets dirty. Replace surgical face masks in such cases.
- Wear a face mask before getting in contact with other people if you are suffering from the flu.
- Remember to wear a mask in public settings if there exists a high risk of flu spread in the community.
Always use high quality face masks, the average masks aren’t good enough to filter out and prevent viruses. Therefore, it is recommended to buy FDA approved masks that contain fine mesh but it is also important to wear face masks in a proper way. If you experience serious symptoms of Flu, you should see a doctor without wasting your time and follow his prescriptions appropriately.
Final Thoughts: To Wear, or Not to Wear
According to a very well said proverb: “Prevention is better than cure” , so prevention is the best approach in order to avoid potential risks posed by Flu and to keep your health safe and sound. As flu is a viral infection and it may transmit in no time, therefore, face masks enhance protection and shield us against harmful germs. While masks are the best medical instrument to reduce widespread viral diseases, it is also essential to take into account other preventive measures at the same time. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day and follow important SOPs declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) without any negligence.