Ómicron, the new variant of COVID-19, increases its presence in Jalisco. With 43 confirmed cases Until Friday, the state ranked third in the country with the most omicron infections, only below the State of Mexico (81 cases) and Mexico City (337), according to figures from the German platform GISAID, which provides open access to influenza virus and COVID-19 genomic data.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in late 2021 that the new variant will be spreads faster than delta, and is more likely to infect even people already vaccinated, so it is necessary reinforce the well-placed use of the mask to avoid contagion, but what are the most suitable masks to protect yourself from this new variant?
The masks that best protect against omicron
Before the arrival of omicron, the WHO recommended professionals health workers wearing face masks N95 o FFP2 in spaces where ventilation is poor, and called on manufacturers and countries to increase the production, procurement and distribution of both respiratory masks and medical masks, primarily for use in healthcare and care settings.
Assessing what is determined by the WHO, the doctor with a doctorate in Epidemiology and Genetics, Sandra López-León, explained that given the current situation of the virus it is recommended for all citizens to do not use cloth mask and opt for the N95, KN95 or FFP2, which in some European countries have even become mandatory in public places such as public transport, shops and hospitals.
However, the doctor has pointed out in her social networks, if it is not counted with a mask like those mentioned, they can be used surgical masks, Well, “anyone is better than nothing”, as long as they are given the proper use and behave correctly, covering the nose and mouth, avoiding that there are gaps between the mask and the face.
How long can I wear the same mask?
As explained by the United States Government Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although this type of face mask (N95, KN95 or FFP2) is designed for single use, with the necessary measures might be refused a few more times, according to the treatment they are given.
In the first place, the agency points out, the viability of the refusal is found in the adjustment of the strapsAs repeatedly putting on and taking off the mask means that the mask can no longer generate enough force to create an airtight seal with the face. “The Badly sealed The resulting air will allow unfiltered air to enter the N95 FFR and the wearer’s breathing zone. ”
The use of these masks could reach no more than five uses with proper treatment, as filtration performance, contamination, fouling and damage must also be evaluated. If the mask is visibly dirty, with respiratory or nasal secretions, if it is torn or gnawed from anywhere, it should be discarded immediately.
Can I decontaminate my mask?
If the N95, KN95 or FFP2 mask is not visibly dirty or contaminated, the straps are in good condition and it is not broken, the life of the mask can be controlled at the five uses recommended by the CDC, although with certain peculiarities.
First, the agency noted, it must avoid spraying them with any substance or spray.
The person should only remove it by the straps and store it in a breathable paper bag at the end of use and for at least five days before using it again “so that the pathogens present in it ‘die’ during storage.” With this strategy, a minimum of five masks are required to cover seven days a week without repeating its use before it can be used again. thus having a coverage of at least one month.
Each time the person uses this system, they should wash their hands with soap and water before and after putting on the masks, always avoiding touching the filter part. Surgical masks are not recommended for refusal and should be discarded immediately after use.
Evaluated and certified face shield
The CDC explains that each N95, KN95 and FFP2 mask is made up of specific materials and characteristics, so it is important verify that the chosen one has been evaluated and certified by health authorities to determine whether the decontamination method is appropriate or not. “Just because one method is effective for one respirator does not mean that it will be effective for a different respirator,” the CDC said.