Who should be using which face mask?

Please remember people in good health need not wear a face mask if they are staying at home and not taking care of any sick patient.

Surgical mask – Loose-fitting, a disposable device made of polypropylene, may be effective in blocking particle droplets, splashes, sprays which may contain germs, keeping them from reaching mouth and nose – does not block small particles in the air that may be transmitted by nearby coughing or sneezing.

“Masks may provide a modest degree of protection against fluids, including spray from a cough or sneeze, and they provide some filtration of the air,” Martinello says. “But, since the masks do not provide a tight seal around the wearer’s nose and mouth, much of the air inhaled and exhaled remains unfiltered.”

Most face masks are disposable and are for one-time use only. Ideally, face masks should not be used once they are soiled or the inner lining gets moist. Rarely they can be sterilized for limited reuse. If you want to reuse the mask, it should be kept dry so that it can last long. While taking out the mask please do not put it under the chin so that germs there will not attach to the mask. Please don’t leave used masks on any surface as it will be a source of infection. It should be properly stored so that it can be reused.