Masks have become a simple and effective “weapon” to help protect everyone’s health against the Covid-19 pandemic. However, many people still use masks in the wrong way, making them ineffective. In these cases wearing wet gear, such as when going to rain, and sneezing runny nose, which is less effective because water limits airflow and reduces its ability to filter viruses.
The three-layer blue surgical mask is the most popular and recognizable today, and can protect people from viral infections. However, a former senior WHO official recommended that users should change the mask if it gets wet because moisture causes them to become less effective.
Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Covid-19 Symptom Research Application, warns that people are not aware of the risks associated with wearing wet masks and medical authorities need to clarify this. clear advice. Warning comes as the UK enters autumn, with showers and storms appearing more dense.
The UK entered autumn with the amount of heavy showers and high humidity, making medical experts more worried that people wearing wet masks would no longer work to prevent Covid-19 infection.
Karol Sikora, a former WHO official, said: “The humidity makes the masks become porous and so all masks are basically susceptible to loss of effect in wet weather. I think people often lack knowledge or guidance on this matter. They should be given clear advice by the authorities, especially with today’s heavy rain. It is important that we know how to change masks if they get wet and even more expensive masks have the same problem.
“Wearing a wet mask is like a dirty handkerchief tied to the face,” said Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor of cytological microbiology at the University of Reading. If it gets damp from steam in their breath or from coughing and sneezing, this could be an indication that people need to wear a new or reusable one that has been washed.
For face veils, they should be made of the densest woven material possible to prevent droplets from escaping while still allowing the user to breathe comfortably. Depending on the wetness of the material, each can have a different effect on the size of the holes in the fabric, making them too large to prevent water droplets entering or leaving, or too narrow to allow proper breathing. .
I always make sure I have at least one clean mask in case I go out so I can change what I am wearing if it gets wet or has been wearing it for a while.
WHO also states that all respirators should be changed if they get wet or dirty: “Wet masks should not be worn for a long time, everyone should replace them as soon as they get wet with a clean and dry new one. “.
Guidelines published by the Ministry of Health and Social Care also require that people change their face veil if it gets wet or has touched it. However, the evidence suggests that public awareness about this is limited and does not change masks in wet weather.
To combat this problem, in France people are encouraged to bring a spare mask so that they can be replaced quickly when it rains. However, UK authorities have yet to urge people to do the same to limit the spread of the disease.
Huong Giang (Source: dailymail)