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Is wearing two masks really effective against the coronavirus? Ask your questions – Prime Time Zone

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Measure has become a recommendation from official agencies in the United States and Europe to increase the filtering power of protection against Covid-19

Mateus Bonomi / Estadão ContentsThe use of a mask is recommended as a means of preventing coronavirus

The Center for the Control and Prevention of U.S (CDC) released on February 19 a study recommending the use of two protections: a cloth mask over a surgical mask. The epidemiologist and professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), Ethel Maciel, says that the change in the recommendation happened due to the new variants of the coronavirus, because they are more transmissible. In addition to the United States, in Europe, using two More expensive has also become a recommendation by official bodies to increase the filtering power of protection against Covid-19. “The concept of the mask is to be a physical barrier. When we are using it, we are protecting the other. We are preventing the droplets from being expelled into the air and infecting others. When the other is using it, he is protecting us ”, explains Maciel. According to her, wearing a second mask would be a way of, in addition to protecting the other, the individual also protecting himself.

Ethel explains that the measure would be a replacement for “filtering” masks. “PFF2 and N95 filter the air. Both the air you breathe in and the air you breathe out. They filter out very small particles, smaller than the coronavirus itself. So they are very effective in preventing you from breathing particles that contain the virus ”, he points out. In Germany, for example, only masks of the N95 standard can be used. Citizens cannot use public transport or enter supermarkets without adequate protection. Such equipment, however, is very expensive. The expert points out that, for this type of mask to be mandatory, it is necessary for the public authorities to take measures, such as reducing or zeroing product taxes and supplying the N95 to citizens who do not have income to purchase the equipment. The use of a second mask appears as an alternative for when “filtering” masks cannot be purchased.

According to the epidemiologist, the use of two masks has a filtering efficiency of about 90% of the particles. The specialist says that two cloth masks or a surgical one underneath and one cloth masque can be used on top. “Remembering that the mask cannot be wide. That acrylic model is totally not recommended. The mask has to be very well adjusted, there can be no air points ”, points out Ethel. She also states that multi-fabric masks are the best. “The surgery already has triple protection. So, if you put the surgery underneath, you improve its filtering power. ” In the case of N95 and PFF2, the combination of another mask is not necessary.

“People have a lot of doubt about how to use the N95 or PFF2. ‘How many times can I use it?’, We are asked. We have been advising you to have, for those who can, three masks of this type per month. And you should use alternate. A second, a Tuesday and a fourth. On the fifth, you use the one you used on the second. On Friday, the one you used on Tuesday. Merge in a way that you use the equipment one day and let it breathe for another three. That way, the virus dies ”. The epidemiologist recalls that the ideal is to leave the masks breathing, not stored. Plastic bags, for example, damage the filter of these models. It is also not possible to spray alcohol on this model, points out the teacher. Regarding the difficulty in breathing due to the use of the two masks, Ethel says that she has no problem. “There is no harm to breathing. You can use two masks without problems ”, he assures.

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