You don't need N95 masks, 3-layer surgical masks well: doctors

MUMBAI: The Wuhan outbreak has caused the disappearance of stocks of N95 face masks from the city's pharmacies, but doctors say the high-end mask may not be as effective as people presume. In addition, it may be unnecessary outside of healthcare settings and hospitals.

Dr. Om Srivastava, an infectious disease specialist, said: Only people in healthcare settings who will be constantly close to infected people need an N95 mask.

Experts say that data from China suggest that the new coronavirus (nCoV) of 2019 can travel approximately two or three feet away, as it is a relatively large virus. Dr. V Ramasubramanian, a specialist in internal medicine based in Chennai, said he does not advise people in general to wear a mask. Only if you travel to an affected area, wear a three-layer surgical mask, the doctor said.

Dr. George Oomen, an infectious disease specialist, said a preventive measure is not enough. In addition to using a surgical mask, it is also necessary to wash your hands regularly. Doctors, in fact, say that washing your hands frequently to break any transmission chain, such as an infected person who touches the lift buttons, door knobs or computers, could be a more effective preventive method.

Dr. Oomen noted a 2019 published in JAMA (Journal of United States Medical Association ) which showed that the type of mask did not make a big difference in the spread of the flu. The study conducted among 2,862 medical health workers distributed in seven health centers in the USA. UU. He concluded: The use of N95 respirators versus medical masks did not produce significant differences in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza. In another study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in 2009, surgical masks appeared to be almost as effective as N95 respirators in prevention among health workers in Canada.