The French health honcho is urging citizens to speak up Goodbye to cotton masks because they are simply not effective enough against new, potentially more contagious variants of COVID-19.
Instead, the French Health Advisory Council recommends wearing disposable surgical masks. Experts here agree – and tell The Post that it’s important to consider upgrading your choice of mask.
A domestic mutation in the virus, called 20C-US, is thought to be responsible for up to 50 percent of all cases in the United States – hitting the Midwest hardest, researchers said earlier this month. These findings come a day after researchers at Ohio State University said they had discovered a different strain of the COVID-1
“As we progress in this pandemic, we come to realize that no, not all masks are the same,” said Dr. Martin Cohen, an assistant professor and professor in the Department of Ecology and Occupational Health at the University of Washington. In the spring, he conducted raw aerosol experiments on masking materials to find suitable substitutes in the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE).
So who are the best? Here’s a look at which masks will last in 2021, when scientists learn more about the increasingly mutated virus.
“The gold standard is obviously the N95 masks, regardless of the COVID strain,” said Dr. Rajesh Mohan, a New Jersey-based cardiologist and author of COVIDslayers: How We Can Win! and what actually went wrong? Experience of a frontline doctor leader. ”
It was also found to be the best mask in a comprehensive review of masks by researchers at Duke University over the summer.
This was the most efficient of the group on the logarithmic scale of the study.
These disposable surgical masks are also a good standby mode and significantly more comfortable than face-friendly N95s.
“The next best thing is surgical masks,” Mohan said. “If people wore them, there would be about a 70 percent reduction in infection.”
Duke researchers also found that it is the second most effective variety, ranging from 0 to 0.1 in terms of the spread of speech particles while wearing it.
KN95 or KF94
Aaron Collins, a Minnesota-based mechanical engineer who has written his master’s thesis on aerosol science and calls himself a “civilian scientist,” has been reviewing masks on his YouTube channel since August.
Collins turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory, using an aerosol generator to pump small particles of salt and water. A condensing particle counter counts how many particles are in the air and how many are in the mask that Collins is currently testing. He compares the number of particles inside the mask with the number outside it, which helps him determine its effectiveness.
His best bets, he found after his research, are protective masks such as KF94, KN95 or N95.
“The N95s are obviously the best because they seal the face, but the downside is that it’s attached with a headband that can destroy your scalp.” In his research, he found that KF94 masks range from 90 to 99% protection. while KN95 masks also perform well, but have a greater difference in quality.
He recommends not buying masks on eBay or Amazon, as there are bootleg versions that are worn around.
“The market is still a problem. Scammers still have a huge amount of stock there. “
Instead, he offers to buy from two companies: an importer based in New Jersey, Be Healthy USA and Bona Fide Masks.
Ever since November, when New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wore two masks after his quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, questions have been circulating about whether doubling is the best course of action.
“If your first line of defense isn’t as significant as a scarf, you can put on another layer,” Mohan said. Other researchers support this view, saying that a cloth mask and a surgical mask create an effective pairing.
“Obviously, the more layers you have between the mouths of each other, the lower the risk of spreading the infection. But it can reduce the benefit in terms of breathing ability, “Mohan said. “The idea is for it to fit snugly without making you uncomfortable.”