Cloth Mask or Surgical Mask To Prevent COVID Infection?: Check Expert Opinion

 - Sakshi Post

To hold Covid at bay, experts recommend double masking.

Although N95 masks are the gold standard, wearing a surgical mask over a regular cloth mask is the best combination of double masking.

Hyderabad: Due to the rapid spread of the new Covid variants during the ongoing second wave, health officials are recommending double masking and emphasizing the importance of wearing tightly fitted masks to reduce possible exposure to virus-carrying aerosols.

While N95 masks are the gold standard and well-known for properly sealing the face and filtering 95% of particles, they have drawbacks such as difficulty breathing, insufficient oxygen supply, and additional costs that deter people from using them.

Public health experts and even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States have recommended double masking as an efficient way to avoid the Covid virus exposure as an alternative to N95 masks.

The majority of the general population, on the other hand, do not know how to wear double masks and what the two most effective styles of masks that can be combined for double masking are.

Wearing a standard cloth mask over a surgical mask is the perfect double masking combination. According to the CDC, a well-fitting double mask will minimize exposure to virus-containing aerosols by 96 percent.

Individuals can be exposed to the virus if single cloth masks are worn loosely. They are, however, much more effective when used in conjunction with surgical masks. Individuals must, however, ensure that surgical and fabric masks are worn closely together. ‘Effectiveness of fabric and medical masks can be enhanced by ensuring that they are well fitted to the contours of the face to avoid leakage of air around the masks' edges,' according to the CDC.

The CDC performed detailed experimental simulations in January to compare the efficacy of traditional double masking versus using only cloth masks. Experiments by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on double masks found that when people wear two masks, their chances of being exposed to aerosols are decreased by 95.9%.

“Fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, or knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face, substantially reduced the wearer's exposure,” according to the CDC.

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