Dr Amir discusses best face masks
Face coverings may no longer be mandatory but they continue to remain an “effective” protective measure against Covid, according to a professor.
Science has proved that masks can filter out respiratory droplets and particles from infecting the wearer and others.
This is especially important since coronavirus is airborne and spreads through droplets released into the air, released through coughing, sneezing or speaking.
With Covid cases on the rise, Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Principal Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire, shared wearing face masks is “highly recommended”.
The professor explained that the coverings are especially useful in indoor, crowded, and poorly ventilated spaces such as trains, airports, and healthcare settings.
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While all masks can be effective when worn correctly, research indicates that N95 and FFP2/FFP3 coverings are the “gold standard” that offers the “best overall protection”.
Dr Papadopoulos said: “These masks achieve a close facial fit and are capable of filtering out at least 95 percent of airborne particles, including both large respiratory droplets and smaller particles.
“They are commonly used in healthcare settings as they are considered the gold standard.”
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N95 and FFP2 or FFP3 are disposable just like the surgical masks but they pack several more layers of different fabrics.
These layers include a polypropylene filter which can trap the smallest airborne particles.
Surgical masks that are a go-to choice for many are “still good” but they aren’t “quite as effective”, the professor explained.
He said: “They are primarily designed to protect others from the wearer, but they also offer some level of protection for the wearer by filtering out large respiratory droplets.”
While face coverings can offer an “effective” level of protection, the professor explained you shouldn’t fall into a “false sense of security” when wearing a mask and forget other protective measures.
Dr Papadopoulos said: “Wearing a mask is beneficial on its own, [but] its effectiveness is significantly enhanced when combined with other preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene and social distancing.”
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