French health officials urge citizens to say goodbye cotton masks because they are simply not effective enough against the new, potentially more contagious variants of COVID-19.
Instead, France’s health advisory board recommended wearing single-use surgical masks. Experts here agree – and tell the Post now is a good time to consider upgrading your mask choice.
A local mutation in the virus, dubbed 20C-US, is believed to be responsible for up to 50% of all cases in the United States – hitting the Midwest hardest, researchers said earlier this month. The findings come a day after scientists at Ohio State University said they discovered a different strain of the COVID-19 virus – which carries a mutation similar to the British strain.
“As we progress through this pandemic, we realize that no, not all masks are the same,” said Dr Martin Cohen, deputy chairman and professor in the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences at the work of the University of Washington. In the spring, he conducted crude aerosol experiments on masking materials to find suitable substitutes in the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE).
So which are the best? Here’s a look at which masks are resisting in 2021 as scientists learn more about the increasingly mutant virus.
“The gold standard is obviously the N95 masks, regardless of the COVID strain,” said Dr. Rajesh Mohan, New Jersey-based cardiologist and author of “COVIDslayers: How We Can Win! and what really went wrong? The experiences of a leading physician on the front line. ”
It also turned out to be the best mask during a full mask review by researchers at Duke University over the summer.
It was the most efficient of the group on the logarithmic scale of the study.
These single-use surgical masks are also a good wake-up call, and considerably more comfortable than the face-hugging N95s.
“The second best thing is the surgical masks,” Mohan said. “If people wore them, there would be about a 70% decrease in infection.”
Duke researchers also found it to be the second most efficient strain, ranging from 0 to 0.1 in terms of particles scattered when speaking while wearing one.
KN95 or KF94
Aaron Collins, a mechanical engineer from Minnesota, who wrote his master’s thesis on aerosol science and calls himself a “citizen scientist,” has been examining the masks on his YouTube channel since August.
Collins has turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory, using an aerosol generator to pump out tiny particles of salt and water. A condensation particle counter counts the number of particles present in the air and the number of particles present in the mask that Collins is currently testing. It compares the number of particles inside the mask with the number outside of it, which helps it determine its effectiveness.
His best bets, he discovered after his research, are protective masks such as the KF94, KN95 or N95.
“The N95s are obviously the best, because they seal the face, but the downside is that they are attached with a headband that can destroy your scalp.” In his research, he found that KF94 masks offer 90-99% protection, while KN95 masks also work well, but they have more variation in quality.
He advises against buying masks on eBay or Amazon as there are pirated versions circulating.
“The market is always a problem. Scammers still have a huge amount of inventory in the market. “
Instead, he suggests buying from two companies: the New Jersey-based importer, Be Healthy USA and Bona Fide Masks.
Since November, when New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wore two masks after quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, questions have arisen as to whether a doubling is better. action plan.
“If your first line of protection isn’t meaningful, like a scarf, you can put on another layer,” Mohan said. Other researchers support this sentiment, saying that a fabric mask and a surgical mask are an effective pairing.
“Obviously, the more layers of fiber you have between one person’s mouth and another, the less risk of spreading the infection. But that could diminish the benefits, in terms of the ability to breathe, ”Mohan said. “The idea is that it should fit snugly without making you feel uncomfortable.”