The current outbreak of swine flu has everybody scared. But there are things you can do to significantly cut your risk of contracting the infection: wash your hands with soap and water regularly and wear a surgical mask when you go places where lots of people come together. It is a good idea to wear a mask whenever you have contact with people who have the swine flu.
Why does this work?
Because of the way flu viruses are spread. According to the Center of Disease Control1, the swine flu can be spread like any other flu, by inhaling droplets from the sneezing and coughing of infected persons, or by touching something that contains live virus (like a door knob, that has been touched by an person with the swine flu, after this person sneezed or coughed into their hand, which is the reason why everybody is encouraged to sneeze and cough into their elbows).
The inhalation of infectious aerosols like sneezing droplets can be prevented very effectively by the wearing of a surgical mask.
The 3M1860 and 3M 1870 masks provide the highest level of protection from infection by this route.
Unfortunately, due to the concerns about the swine flu outbreak, the demand for them is currently so high, that they are sold out in many places. People used to be able to just go to the neighborhood drug store or a specialty medical supply store to buy these mask, but now, that everybody wants to stock up on them, they are all gone. Even on the internet, most websites are sold out and it is not known, when the masks will be coming back to these places.
The good news is, they are still available at Vitality Medical. The masks are uniquely comfortable, and have the highest industry standard ASTM level of 160mm Hg for fluid and splash resistance. The 3M-patented, flat-fold/three-panel design gives the 3M 1870 N95 respirator mask a comfortable fit unlike any other respirator. The mask is hypoallergenic, so you won’t get a asthma-attack due to inhaled latex particles when you use it. The mask protects not only from virus infections like the swine flu and other flu viruses, but also from bacteria like the ones that cause tuberculosis. It can also be worn to reduce exposure to smoke and dust, when working in the garage or work shop.
Other surgical masks that also provide protection from infectious aerosols are the 3M 1860 N95 Mask. This mask does not have the patented folding of the 1870 mask, but it fits most shapes of faces, and is slightly cheaper than the 1870 mask. It comes in two sizes of regular and small to allow maximum fit. Both styles of respirators, the 1870 and 1860 are NIOSH certified tested against a 0.3 micron particle (mass median aerodynamic diameter) per 42 CFR 84.
Another economy option is the 3M Nexcare All-purpose Mask that is available in boxes of five. This light-weight comfortable mask filters out 99% of the wearer’s exhaled airborne bacteria, and thus helps reduce the spread of bacteria and germs. It also warms and moistens the inhaled air which makes breathing easier, and can reduce discomfort in people experiencing symptoms of respiratory infections like sore throat and coughing.
Be prepared to order a box of N95 masks, if you don’t need them today you might need them tomorrow. Other mask options include the AMD Ritmed Safe-Mask and the Molnlycke SOFLOOP. Lets hope we never need to use them for a full blown pandemic.
You can always use them when you mow the lawn or work in the garage.
For 9 years www.VitalityMedical.com has been a leader in the Medical Supply industry. Whether it’s helping you finish your marathon and reach your goals, or helping you get back on your feet after an accident, VitalityMedical is here to help.