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Using Face Mask Helps to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The use of face masks, alongside other recommended preventive measures such as frequent washing of hands with soap and water, and maintaining social distancing reduces the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Using face masks is particularly important because it is sometimes difficult to identify those who have the virus as some people are asymptomatic. Such people can spread the virus to others unknowingly. A study shows that 40-80% of transmission comes from those showing no symptoms. Hence, medical experts recommend that people use a simple fabric mask if they can’t get other types.

When and where to wear a face mask
You should wear a face mask any time you are in public, whenever you are in the midst of people or when you go out. You should do this even when you feel you are healthy.

Types of face mask

  • N95 face mask
  • This face mask reportedly offers more protection than the other types. The reason is attributed to its ability to filter out both large and small droplets.

    It is primarily designed to block 95% of small particles. It sometimes comes with valves that make it easier to breathe through.

  • Surgical face mask
  • This is a loose-fitting mask that is said to protect the wearer from having contact with droplets that may contain the virus. It is disposable and is often used by medical practitioners. It reduces exposure to the droplets released by the mask wearer.

  • Cloth face mask
  • This is made from materials like cotton. It is quite easy to make. This makes it very easy to find. It can be washed and reused.

READ MORE: Symptoms of COVID-19

How face masks protect against COVID-19

According to research, COVID-19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets released when people sneeze, cough or talk. If the droplets from an infected person touch someone’s face – nose, mouth or eyes, it is possible for the person to contract the virus. Therefore, face masks help to contain the droplets that come out of your mouth or nose when you sneeze, cough or talk. Also, if you are healthy, a face mask will probably protect you from droplets released by people around you. It reduces your chance of spreading or contracting the infection.

In a case where you (as a healthy person) come in contact with an infected person, the probability of contracting the virus is 90%.

If you wear a face mask as a healthy person and you come in contact with a carrier of the virus, you are still in danger of contracting the virus. The probability is around 70%.

But if an infectious person wears a face mask, the probability of transmitting the virus to someone without a face mask is 5%.

The best way to lower the spread of the virus is for everybody to wear a face mask. This will reduce transmission rate to about 1.5%.

Nevertheless, other preventive measures must not be ignored but be adhered to from time to time.

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