The swine flu epidemic has people worldwide donning surgical masks for protection, but the Centers for Disease Control report that it’s doubtful most masks do much good, especially if no other precautions are taken.
The primary function of loose-fitting surgical masks is to prevent the wearer from spreading their own germs when they cough or sneeze, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times reporting on the CDC’s findings. These masks do little to prevent small viral particles from infecting the person wearing it.
Some face masks, especially the more tight-fitting “respirator” types, are recommended by the CDC for people who are in close contact with infected individuals. Masks should be used only once and then disposed of properly, the agency adds.
Most of all, it’s most important to take other common sense precautions such as thorough hand washing, avoiding crowds and sick people, and staying home if you have the flu, the experts say.
Read the original article for more details about the swine flu and masks…
Source: Roan, S., LA Times report (April 28, 2009)
Article Link: Roan, S., “Do Face Masks Help Prevent Swine Flu Infection?”
Related Article Links:
CDC’s recommendations on face masks: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/masks.htm
EmpowHer Links: Check out more on influenza and the swine flu:
(Information summarized by Darlene Jenkins, Ph.D.)