People in the subway with their mouths covered with masks. Executives walking down the street protecting their airways, the clasped hands of a bride and groom wrapped in latex gloves. The flu has these images and the belief can spread among the population that it is necessary to use this type of barrier method to avoid contagion.

However, nothing is further from reality. Both the WHO and the Ministry of Health are clear that, although masks and gloves are very useful in certain situations, their widespread use would not bring benefits and would increase psychosis.

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Two types of masks

First, it should be noted that there are two types of masks: surgical (or simple) and protective or respirators (which have filters). Only the latter protect, and not 100% in any case, from the flu.

The surgical or simple fabric masks have the function of not infecting the patient, who is an operating room is exposed to all kinds of viruses. It works from simple reasoning: the air from the nose and mouth comes out at high speed and from the front, and large particles (between 3 and 8 microns, taking into account that one micron equals 0.001 millimeters) impact against the mask. and they don't go outside.

It also slightly limits particle access when breathing, but the air inside the mask is only 1.5 to 3 times cleaner than outside. Therefore, using it as a way to avoid infections is absurd, but also dangerous, since it gives the feeling of false security.

This mask is advisable for a person with flu symptoms who have been in the USA or contact with someone recently arrived from the country, and you can use it before contacting the doctor -something that, on the other hand, you should do immediately- so as not to infect anyone in your environment.

The masks therefore that a person must wear to avoid falling ill are those of protection, much more sophisticated elements. In America, they must be approved and are divided into three categories and depending on the degree of protection they offer.

The protective mask needs a much greater adjustment than the surgical mask because if it does not fit on the sides of the mouth or nose, the particles can enter the body without problems.

Well placed and changed daily, the air inside these masks is between 4 and 50 times cleaner than outside. The recommended masks for people in direct contact with influenza patients.

Masks alone can do little to prevent the spread of the flu unless they are used appropriately and by the people who need them. If you are caring for someone with the flu, and you are at high risk of becoming seriously ill if you do catch it, you should wear a mask.

A better option, if possible, would be to assign someone else to care for the sick person. If you have the flu and have to be in contact with other people, it is advisable to use the mask.

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Buy Single or Small Groups of Face masks for yourself, employees, family, friends and even gifts. The new normal will be to wear face masks out and about when at large populated events and for those that are trying to prevent contact with germs.